Thursday, October 28, 2021

The Night Walker

Just one more before another new film.

As a person who has not seen many William Castle films, I've only seen House On Haunted Hill and a bit of The Tingler, this will be a hard one to top. And most of his films showcase some gimmick, he was a showman first and a director second but did both really well, yet with this movie it's just a little horror film that branches into a mystery and it works quite well I thought. It got me from the opening theme which I love to death, it honestly sounds like something I would hear on the Goosebumps show and it even threw me for a loop or two as the story neared it's end. The story follows a widowed wife of a blind scientist who dies in an explosion, but is haunted by him in her dreams 2 decades before Freddy Krueger, and the dreams only deepen leading to an investigation. I love the opening with a more subtly creepy narrator who discusses dreams and sets the mood perfectly for the film. Barbara Stanwyck is a very good lead, and I actually applaud Castle on the fact that there really aren't any young faces in the cast, there be no 20 somethings playing teenagers in this horror film, and she is a phenomenal screamer. Like those screams put other scream queens to shame. Hayden Rorke as the scientist with all the burn makeup is effectively creepy and is used sparingly as he should be. Since the film deals with dreams there are several surreal sections that actually feel like you are experiencing a fever dream, with mannequin people, dreams within dreams, a good few jumpscares, and all the while the music plays on. It's no classic but I applaud the screenwriter Robert Bloch who also wrote Psycho, and consider it to be a quite good movie. To my knowledge until fairly recently this movie was only on VHS and just got a Blu-Ray release in 2018, but I was fortunate to watch it once again on the Youtubes and it does somewhat upset me I can't watch a lot of these movies in the middle of the night because of my schedule, very few horror movies can have such a strong effect even in daylight so I do urge you to watch it when the sun is long gone, in the glow of your TV, and see what kind of dreams you have afterward. 3.5 stars, 7/10, and regrettably tomorrow will be the last review of October. It's forever bittersweet to know the month is nearly over but Halloween is approaching with supernatural speed and I can't wait.

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