15 August 2019 | boblipton
Is There A Ghost? Boo! Must be
Valentine Dyall is a guest at a house party where he tells a story of a cursed house.... the one where the party is taking place.
If anyone could narrate a ghost story, it was the Man in Black, and his slow, fluent baritone certainly made skin creep. The problem I had with this is the unvarying formula of ghost stories like this. A young couple is looking for a place to live. The strange house agent take them to an old, deserted house, utters a few platitudes about how they really knew how to build in those days, and refuses to hang around. At first things are copacetic, and they happily wire the house, repaint it, and we need to do something about that dripping faucet. Then there's the first shock: a loud noise in the other room is revealed to have been a burning log falling off the irons, as they do, and the flames make strange shadows out of known objects.
Then another shock. And another. And eventually.... there is a ghost!
Boo! the trouble is that this is a mid-century movie, and the audience sees the ghost, because that's the way these things were written and shot. It lacks the sense of uncanny uncertainty that the best ghost stories have; seeing, after all, is believing, and once you believe, well, there's nothing unnatural about it. Except the ending, which renders the entire movie a special effects jok