Directed by Michael Anderson [Other horror films: Orca (1977), Murder by Phone (1982)]
I think I’ve seen this movie before under the title Les diaboliques (1955), or maybe it was House on Haunted Hill (1959). Or perhaps it was The Screaming Skull (1958). Wait, Lo spettro (or The Ghost, 1963)?
The point is, Dominique’s plot is far from unique. It’s not a bad story, but it’s been done before many times. It helps a little that the movie’s British, which gives it maybe a little more flavor, but at the same time, despite the plot being competent, Dominique feels stuffy.
Cliff Robertson and Simon Ward were both fine as central characters, but they didn’t really add much to the film, and it’s certainly not on them that the movie falls flat. In fact, I did rather like Simon Ward, so without him, it’s possible the film wouldn’t be that engaging, not that it’s overly engaging to begin with.
As it is, the story Dominique boasts is okay. There’s a few suspenseful scenes, though not that many really thrilling scenes (save one), and pretty much all the scenes are okay, but nothing special. The best I can say is that the sequences that take place in the conservatory are solid.
I think that’s the best way to describe this movie, really: okay, but nothing special. It’s a bit stuffy, but it’s competently made. Dominique’s just not really that great, though, and I certainly understand why I’ve never heard about this one until I watched it.
This is one of the film’s covered on Fight Evil’s podcast. If interested, listen below as Chucky (@ChuckyFE) and I discuss this one.