Directed by Bennett Cohen [Other horror films: N/A]
At under 55 minutes, Midnight Faces doesn’t appear to have a lot going for it on the surface. But if you’re a fan of the old dark house mystery type movies (old dark houses, reading of wills, secret passages, multiple suspects, etc), then I think you’d have a blast with this one.
The plot isn’t any better or any worse than any other dark house mystery, but the setting (a mansion in the Florida swamps) is decently fun. Mildly related, while the copy I saw had multiple issues (which I’ll expand on in a bit), I did like the greenish tint most of this movie had. Really helped the audience feel the more swampy atmosphere.
Despite being short, Midnight Faces has no lack of characters, with eleven individuals popping up now and again. Luckily, most of these people, despite the blurriness of the copy, are easily distinguishable. Francis X. Bushman Jr. does a good job as the main character, and despite the ever-present racial stereotypes of the times, his body man, a character named Trohelius Washington Snapp (played by Martin Turner) was occasionally amusing at times also.
The print I viewed, and I believe to be most common, has a multitude of problems, including color tinting fading from a lighter to a darker shade (at times, almost appearing black-and-white), cropped poorly, generally bad picture quality (even for a silent movie), and a repetitive score (it seemed to loop only three pieces of classical music). On the upside, one of the pieces was Johann Pachelbel’s Canon in D Major, which was pleasantly calming.
In short, the commonly available print may not be up to high standards, but if you got a kick out of movies like The Cat and the Canary, The Bat Whispers, One Body Too Many, The Monster Walks, or any number of old dark house mysteries, or if you’re into silent movies, I’d give this one a shot. After seeing this one a few times, I still enjoy it, so maybe others will too.