Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Ghoul (1933)

Genre: Horror, Psychological, Occult

Source: Netflix ( Instant View)

Grade: B-

   Well this was just one of those movies that sounded really good, had some good things going for it, and had an amazing cast, including Boris Karloff, Cedric Hardwicke, and Ernest Thesiger. But alas it was not nearly as good as it could have been. I was thoroughly disappointed with it, probably because I had made it out to be a really good movie in mind, but when I watched it was not anything like I thought it would be. Funny how that seems to happen to me more often now, were i`m always disappointed with a movie I think is going to be good like this one, and then movies that I think are going to blow I end up really liking like 1959s The Killer Shrews. 

      Well starting with the movies story, it was unbenosed to me actually based on a novel by Frank King, but was extremly loosely based, so more than doing a adaption it kind of just borrowed ideas and turned it into its own thing. I have not read the novel, which you will, see I dont like to watch a movie based on a book or remake of another movie,Without first reading the book or watching the original movie. Anyways having not read the book I went on watching this movie with the expectaion of it being a more superatural or mummyish kind of movie, and honestly that would be freaken awesome. But alas it wasnt, Instead it was a more psycholigical crime drama, murder, and random family problems kinda movie, not what I was expecting at all. So yeah naturally I was dissapointed, it didnt foucus nearly enough on Boris Karloff he was actually a minor character really eventhough he was top billed. But rather it foucused on a group of people mostly made up of dickering rlatives, a treaturious sinister butler, a "seki" or mock vicar really. And what made it annoying that the foucus was on the wrong people was it was bland and really slow making the movie incredibly unepalling. Though there was some good stuff that makes this movie worth watching. Like the climax to the ending saved it from the mediocre status that it was dangerously bordering on already, WARNING: SPOILERS, the whole idea that Karloff wasnt dead and had been buried alive was pretty cool and unexpected. Also Ernest Theasingers charecter was really crazy, him and karloff (when he was on screen) were what made this movie, without them, it would have been forgotten and have faded into obscerity already.

        Now as for the Cast, that was probably the best thing about the whole movie, it was excellently produced and well casted. Starting with Boris Karloff, this was a great role for him. No one could have done it better than him, especially at the beginng were hes geting really mad at his butler while hes moments away from death, just how he looked was crazy it was unnaturally scary, his skin was old looking and his eyes were just crazy looking! so great performance overall from Boris Karloff, its just a shame he didnt have more screen time.
Then there was Ernest Thesiger playing Karloffs butler. Yet another excellent cast, he was a sinster, scary looking, and rather decieveing charecter and thanks to Thesiger it was put to its maxium potential. The other movie I rember Ernest Thesinger from was Bride of Frankenstein, which his role in that movie was just so differnet from his role in this movie. And that just further proves my point that he is a great actor. As for the rest of the cast Cedric Hardwicke, Dorothy Hyson, and Ralph Richardson (in his first ever movie role) etc. they werent bad, just didnt leave as deep a dramatic impact as Thesinger and Karloff did.

Now the films direction was very dark and dim light which at times could be annoying because you couldn't see a damn thing! But the direction really wasn't to bad it basically delivered the right kind of atmosphere. The movies set was also pretty nice, it looked authentic and a bit like a plays set, which was good really. And I was really happy with the movies setting which was a 19th Century London.

So altogether this wasn't a bad movie at all, it was just disappointing for me, I really thought it was going to be better. And the terribly slow pace and lack of screen time for Karloff didn't help either.But fans of Karloff and Classic Horror alike should check this movie out, it may have a slow pace and all but its not a total loss. So good movie just could definitely have been  better.

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