19 April 2014

The Shuttered Room (1967)
99 min.
Directed by David Greene.
With Carol Lynley, Gig Young, Oliver Reed, Flora Robson, Judith Arthy, Rick Jones, Ann Bell, William Devlin, Charles Lloyd Pack.
A young couple from New York City - Susannah and Mike Kelton (Lynley & Young) - inherit a home on an island in New England that the woman once lived in when she was a little girl.

But Susannah has repressed memories of her childhood there.

Could they be related to something awful that happened? Could the mysterious “creature” locked in the attic have something to do with it?

Based on a story by H. P. Lovecraft, this has much to recommend it, including a first-rate cast.

In particular, Reed is appropriately menacing as a sadistic creep, and the magnificent Robson (looking as if she hasn’t aged in 30 years) is quite good as Aunt Agatha.

There is a good, dizzying pre-Black Christmas subjective camerawork opening.

But the film suffers from certain distractions; among them a prevalent weird vibe that adds nothing, an out-of-place side storyline involving village thugs out to make trouble (think Straw Dogs), which seems forced and unnecessary filler.

Overall, this is a film that might have worked better as part of an anthology. But still, there are worse ways to spend a rainy evening.

Also known as Blood Island.

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