The Door with Seven Locks (1940)

Directed by Norman Lee [Other horror films: The Monkey’s Paw (1948)]

Based on an Edgar Wallace novel by the same name, this is a movie that I’ve been wanting to see for some time now. Sometimes known under the title Chamber of Horrors, The Door with Seven Locks is a quality dark house mystery movie, and while it may not be special in many ways, I do adore much of the film.

Lilli Palmer isn’t a name I actively know, but she did a pretty good job as a strong female lead, and worked well with Romilly Lunge. Of course, Leslie Banks (Zaroff from The Most Dangerous Game) comes hard with a very sinister presence, and his gang of criminals (none of whom were that memorable) was occasionally fun to watch scheming. I could have done without Gina Malo, who was used primarily for comedic effect, but David Horne had some strong moments here.

What really makes this movie work, and work better, in my opinion, than The Dark Eyes of London (which was also based off an Edgar Wallace novel), is the strong and engaging mystery. There are a decent amount of moving parts you have to pay attention to, but I don’t think it even gets too bogged down or convoluted, and I think the answers we get toward the end were, while perhaps not too surprising, perfectly welcomed.

The action sequences, from a fist-fight between a masked man and a police officer to a criminal literally getting a rug pulled out from under him (such a classy move), were all pretty solid. Even toward the end, when the last antagonist standing gets trapped in the oddest iron maiden (“Iron Maiden? Excellent!”), there were some pretty tense moments.

While it’s unlikely to become a favorite unless you’ve some nostalgic connection to it, The Door with Seven Locks still hits many of the right spots, and if you’re a fan of these types of movies, it may be worth checking out.


Author: Jiggy's Horror Corner

Fan of the horror genre, writer of mini-reviews, and lover of slashers.

One thought on “The Door with Seven Locks (1940)”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: