Sunday, November 18, 2012

The Undying Monster


"The Undying Monster" (1942) starring James Ellison, Heather Angel and John Howard and directed by John Brahm is a classic atmospheric horror film that takes place in the early 1900s that I recently stumbled across. 

Brother & sister, Oliver (Howard) and Helga (Angel) Hammond live in a giant Gothic looking house on a seaside cliff in England.  We learn there is an old legend that Hammonds should not go out along the seaside lane on cold, foggy nights because there is some type of monster that kills people.  At the beginning of the movie the brother is walking home from a friend's house and is late in arriving.  Helga hears screaming outside and gathers the household staff to get the carriage and gun so they can investigate.  They find the brother injured on the rocks and a local woman in a coma.

Scotland Yard sends in a scientific investigative team to try to find out what really happened.  Scientist Robert Curtis (Ellison) and his assistant Christy (Heather Thatcher) come to the estate to investigate.  This duo tries to use the newly evolving scientific methods to solve crimes. These two characters actually add a little humor into the horror movie - especially Christy.

This film has been restored and is a wonder to watch.  The scenes are lit with candlelight, people wander seaside cliffs with lanterns, the house has secret rooms and a crypt in the basement and there is some sort of monster lurking around outside.  The scenes are beautifully filmed with some really interesting angles and methods.  This is a very well done movie that is worth finding and watching.  This is definitely one that I will watch again and again in the years to come!

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