Friday, June 20, 2014

THE SECRET OF THE BLUE ROOM (1933)

The movie thoughtfully introduces us to the cast by showing them looking terrified by their own credits, a trigger warning that scares are on the way.


The historically-wealthy are not like you and me.  They live in castles and wear tuxedos everyday, but there are also downsides.  The castle in this film contains a "blue room" with a history of violence.  It seems that anyone who stays in the room ends up dead or missing by morning.  Another weird thing about female rich people is that they french-kiss all four boys who attend their birthday parties, including THEIR OWN FATHERS


I take back every nice thing I said about Gloria Stuart, she is a dirty and filthy girl.  We know Stuart can act, but BLUE ROOM doesn't really show her at her best.  The script is pretty unambitious and also makes the terrible mistake of inserting a full Gloria Stuart song right at the beginning of the movie.  After she sluts it up.


This is not a good way to do business.  Plus the dialogue in these early scenes is agonizing.  They establish the hell out of one guy being a newspaperman, for instance.  Things pick up a bit after that, though, as the three suitors attempt to prove their bravery by each spending a night in the blue room.


Yep, that's it.  I like haunted houses and haunted rooms, so I was predisposed to dig this.  But the movie doesn't really capitalize on its potential.  We get minimal corpses and this mostly skips over into mystery/thriller territory, forsaking its horror pedigree.


This cast includes names of fame like Stuart and Lional Atwill, but it's done in by a script that seems tired and probably also by the rushed nature of the shoot itself (six days, per IMDB).  BLUE ROOM provides modest entertainment and occasionally gives us interesting photography, but overall you can live a full life without ever seeing this.


**1/2

No comments: