[31 Days Of Horror] Mini Reviews: The Uninvited (1944) and The Raven (1963)

Mini Review Day 11: The Uninvited (1944)

The Uninvited is a film I have wanted to see for quite a long time, and with A.J.’s encouragement I decided to track it down and add it to my 31 Days Of Horror line up. I am really glad I did finally check this out; this really is one of the best ghostly tales I’ve seen on film.

The film is about a brother and sister who find an old house by the seaside; they track down the owner and state their intention to buy the property. The owner is an old man who has a young granddaughter who is hesitant about selling the place. The price is fairly cheap, which seems odd but they take it. Fairly soon strange things begin happening in the house, with noises and as they investigate they find there is more than meets the eye to the house and its history.

This is a film that takes time to build things, its setting, its characters and story. Things unwind at the perfect time, we are given clues but not everything so we are along for the ride with the characters and we know what they know. This becomes a rather unsettling film, and it proves that you don’t need a huge budget and crazy effects to make that happen. It is all very subtle, but attention grabbing. The film is extremely atmospheric, and I actually got goosebumps a few times.

The acting is superb, and everyone is really excellent, it is convincing and the chemistry between everyone was natural. The direction is stunning, it really is and the film is a delight to look at. If you still haven’t seen this one, don’t wait as I did, see it!

Rating:

Mini Review Day 12: The Raven (1963)

So I admit, the reason I wanted to see this was because I wanted to see a Poe inspired film directed by Roger Corman and also to see such talents as Vincent Price, Peter Lorre, Boris Karloff and Jack Nicholson in the same film. I actually let my expectations build a little for this one, and I was really excited to see it. I was not at all disappointed, and this was a really fun film!

This isn’t really so much Corman doing a Poe adaptation, more of Corman doing a comedy using some Poe quotes. Describing the plot of this film isn’t too easy, so I’ll make it brief. Dr. Craven (Vincent Price) is mourning over his wife Lenore. That is until a raven appears, but it isn’t any ordinary raven. A fellow sorcerer (or magician) has been transformed into a raven by the name of Bedlo (Peter Lorre). Once turned back, he informs Craven that Lenore still lives, and can be found with Dr. Scarabus (Boris Karloff). They head off for … fun?

There is more to it but that is as simple as I can make it. This is more of a comedy/fantasy/horror piece but for some strange reason it works. There are a few bits that fall a little flat but for the most part it is a rather enjoyable ride, with a fantastic ending. With such a great cast, there was no way this film was going to fail, and seeing these actors in comedic turns together was just a delight. I was really impressed with Price and how he handled the piece; it was such a great fit. Lorre was amazing, and at first I didn’t recognize him. Nicholson was pretty great, and it was almost surreal seeing him with these other actors. Boris Karloff was superb, such an odd role but this man pulled it off.

The Raven wont be for everyone, it is rather quirky, and rather different for something with the name of Poe attached. I had a great time though, and I would highly recommend this one.

Rating:

You can view my entire list of 31 Days Of Horror 2012 HERE

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