21 September 2014

The Ghoul (1933)
80 min.
Directed by T. Hayes Hunter.
With Boris Karloff, Ernest Thesiger, Cedric Hardwicke, Dorothy Hyson, Anthony Bushell, Kathleen Harrison, Ralph Richardson, Harold Huth.
A delightful little British chiller.

Karloff is Professor Morlant, an eccentric Egyptologist who gains possession of the "The Eternal Light," a rare and valuable stone that entitles the holder to immortality.

Upon his death, Morlant is buried with the powerful gem so that he can offer it up to the god Anubis in exchange for everlasting life.

But when Morlant's assistant Laing (Thesiger) steals the precious bauble...well, Boris rises from his grave to exact revenge!

Misty atmospherics, some nice touches of restrained humor and Karloff's copious makeup as the ghoul (think Universal's The Mummy the previous year) all merge to make this an enjoyable '30s terror outing.

The excellent supporting cast keeps the action moving along at a clip, with special kudos to fey James Whale regular Thesiger (The Old Dark House and Bride of Frankenstein) who delivers a memorably spunky performance here.

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