The Bat (1959)
Film / Horror

The Bat (1959)

It’s long been a mystery why anyone thought it would be a good idea to resurrect Mary Roberts Rinehart and Avery Hopwood’s 1920 play The Bat, itself based on Rinehart’s 1908 Old Dark House novel The Circular Staircase, for a third big screen incarnation at the end of the 1950s. It was released at a … Continue reading

Next of Kin (1982)
Film / Horror

Next of Kin (1982)

Tony Williams’ under-rated Australian/New Zealand horror film has suffered from poor marketing in the past, which sold it initially as a slasher film (which it most certainly isn’t) and subsequently as a ghost story (which again it isn’t). What it is, is a slow-burning, visually inventive updating of old dark house tropes with atmosphere to … Continue reading

Before Dawn (1933)
Film / Horror

Before Dawn (1933)

Some years before achieving fame as Chinese detective Charlie Chan, Warner Oland was on the wrong side of the law in Irving Pichel’s Edgar Wallace adaptation (the story may have been written specifically for the screen rather than for print). The basic story is old hat (a dying gangster tips off Oland’s crooked Viennese doctor … Continue reading

Candles at Nine (1944)
Film / Horror

Candles at Nine (1944)

  Jessie Matthews had been the biggest star of pre-war British cinema, enjoying something of a winning streak between 1933 and 1938 when she starred in almost a dozen top money-spinners. But the war years were less kind to Matthews and her career faltered, revived only briefly when, after an absence of five years (her … Continue reading