Haunted Spooks (1920)

Passed   |    |  Short, Comedy

Haunted Spooks (1920) Poster

After numerous failed attempts to commit suicide, our hero (Lloyd) runs into a lawyer who is looking for a stooge to stand in as a groom in order to secure an inheritance for his client (... See full summary »


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21 October 2011 | evanston_dad
Unfunny and Cringe-Inducing
In this not very funny Harold Lloyd short, a young woman stands to inherit the mansion of a relative on the condition that she and her husband stay in it for one night. The problem is that she's not married, but problems like that never stay problems for long, and her lawyer finds a perfect candidate for matrimony in the guise of our boy Lloyd, whose attempts at suicide after being rejected by the girl he loves come to naught. There's a nefarious uncle, though, who wants the house for himself, and he plans to convince the couple that it's haunted and drive them out of it before the night is over.

There ensues a lot of vaudeville physical comedy in which people repeatedly back up into each other and then jump in fright and cower under pieces of furniture. The only funny scenes in the movie are those in which Lloyd is trying to kill himself; after that, he doesn't get much opportunity to flex his comic muscles. The mansion's black servants play a large role, and the way they're portrayed will make any contemporary viewer cringe, even if you can successfully remember the time period and context in which a movie like this would play. I would like to think that the title is not intended as a racial slur, but alas, I'm afraid I don't quite believe it.

There are dozens of other Harold Lloyd films to spend your time watching before you should bother with this one.

Grade: C-

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