Directed by Kurt Neumann [Other horror films: She Devil (1957), Kronos (1957), The Fly (1958)]
This is a pretty fun flick, solid 30’s horror movie.
The story here is pretty fun, what with a room that, if one sleeps in it, they end up dead. A good plot idea to play with, which leads to a rather satisfying conclusion. At the same time, they could have added a little more meat to the movie, and as it’s only an hour and six minutes, they certainly had some time, should they had wanted to use it. Good video and audio quality, too, of a movie from this time period.
The cast is pretty solid throughout. Lionel Atwill (who appeared in plenty of other horror films, such as The Vampire Bat, Doctor X, Mystery of the Wax Museum, Murders in the Zoo, Mark of the Vampire, and about six or so others) has a good presence here, and really shows why he’s often cast in these types of films. Gloria Stuart did pretty okay here, though she was overwhelmed with the hysterics often placed on female characters back in these films. The fact that she later played the elderly Rose in Titanic is really the most interesting thing about her appearance here. Paul Lukas, who played a rather straight-laced character, gave a great performance also.
Edward Arnold (who did very little for the genre, but has a solid resume overall) had a really fun character with snappy dialogue, and virtually every time he was on-screen, I had a fun time. Onslow Stevens, William Janney, and Robert Barrat all stood out also, and as they make up a large amount of the main characters, that’s only a positive thing.
Kurt Neumann, the director, didn’t do a lot of the genre (aside from directing The Fly, he only did a handful of other horror movies), but this was a pretty good movie. Digestible, enjoyable, and while they could have added a little more to the film, still a good time.
I liked a lot of things about this film – the mystery, the conclusion, the overall story. I certainly feel that this one is overlooked, and I recommend it highly if you’re a fan of those early mystery-horror films that made the 1920’s and 1930’s a special time.