1/22/16

Blood Capsule #57

SECRET OF THE BLUE ROOM (1933)

What we have here is a "lost" Universal horror film.  It's not really lost, though.  And it's not really a horror film, but in my judgment, it's within the classification contiguity that dovetails the dimensions of Random Reviews Inc.  Got it?  Good.  Blue Room runs on "old dark house" tropes to tell the story of a supposedly haunted bedroom.  Three bachelors offer to spend the night in this place to prove their gallantry to the delicate Irene von Helldorf.  Obviously, calamitous things happen, but who is responsible?  As a whodunit, the narrative is suitable.  I dug the twists, I must say.  However, Blue Room folds when it comes to pretending to be a fright flick.

Director Kurt Neumann whips up juicy exteriors (those squally typhoons are to die for), and I'm cool with the manner in which key scenes are framed, but - fuck, this sentence is too damn long.  The atmosphere isn't bleak enough for me.  The Old Dark House is more sinister, and that's practically a full-blown comedy.  In addition, I bore witness to subplots being dropped off the side of the crag in the movie itself.  Figuratively speaking, but still!  Would I recommend Secret of the Beryl Enclosure?  Yeah.  It's entertaining, and it stars Lionel Atwill.  Actually, the whole cast is methodical, if not a teensy bit stagy.  What's a Universal classic without blood and thunder?

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