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Friday, August 09, 2013

Secret of the Blue Room (1933) - Kurt Neumann


Secret of the Blue Room is a pretty decent crime/horror movie that follows in the Old Dark House footsteps. Lionel Atwill is the most seasoned actor in the film, turning in a pretty passable performance. This isn't his best role by any stretch of the word. There are infinitely worse movies than this one. It is short, running at 65 min, but has a good helping of terror and suspense. This film gives you a good helping of the who done it plot device and in a good way. It actually kept me guessing the entire time and kept my interest. 

The movie is about three men that are in a pissing contest about gaining the hand of the young Irene Von Helldorf. It just so happens, the Van Helldorf family estate has a mysterious room that is "responsible" for the deaths of anyone that stays overnight in it. One person drowned and the other shot. Very mysterious. Of course this is a prime opportunity to prove your worth as a suitor for the young lady. Of course that goes horribly wrong. After yet another murder in the room the tensions rise and investigations are started. This is where the movie really gets interesting. Now everyone must prove that they can withstand the room one by one. 

It does have downsides The scares are obvious and the dialog is contrived. The copy that I watched was incredibly washed out and over exposed. It sucked to watch. It was hard to see and the audio was tired and distorted in some sections. Once I got over much of the technical snags I really enjoyed it. This is a Universal release and is attached to none other than producer extraordinaire, Carl Laemmle. Those names hold some weight but not everything they do can be Golden. The Secret of the Blue Room is a really interesting picture with some real potential. It makes me think of movies like 1408 and Murder by the Clock. It has a great story but it isn't executed in the best way. I still recommend it to anyone looking to do a movie marathon. Check it out. 
  • Shot in all of six days. 
  • Features Swan Lake by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
  • The plot is based on the German film Geheimnis des Blauen Zimmers

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