Thoughts on “The Ghost Walks”

So, the next movie in the “The Shadows” collection is “The Ghost Walks”, a movie that was originally done in 1934 and so is in black and white. Given that all of the previous movies have been far more recent than that, there’s no way that “The Ghost Walks” could be as entertaining if not more entertaining than the others, right?

Well, as it turns out, it’s probably the most entertaining movie in the collection. The big problem with it, though, is that it’s not actually at all scary for something that was trying to be a horror movie.

The overall premise is that an aspiring playwright invites a big time play producer and his assistant to a house out in the middle of nowhere to have him read his play. However, the playwright’s plan is to actually secretly perform the play for the producer and include the producer in the story as a way to make it have more of an impact. Soon, however, the producer and his assistant overhear that this is the plan, and so decide to at least somewhat play along. Things get more complicated, however, with the revelation that an insane murderer has escaped from a nearby asylum accompanied by an actual murder occurring in the house.

The producer and his assistant essentially play comic relief in this movie, believing every odd event to be part of the play rather than a real threat. In general, at least recent movies would play that disbelief for suspense, setting things up so that they would be placed under direct and obvious threat that they disbelieve and we would know is all to real. However, there isn’t really a lot of that sort of suspense in the movie, as we only find out who the lunatic is relatively late in the relatively short movie. Part of the reason for this is that the pair are just too much of comic relief in their banter and manner to maintain the suspense. Their lines and voices would constantly shatter the suspense and so it’s probably a good idea that the movie didn’t really try to build suspense that way.

Still, the movie is entertaining. Despite not being suspenseful, the banter is fairly good, and while the overall mystery is a bit shallow and obvious it still moves well and keeps moving the plot along. It’s only about an hour long, but it manages to explain things well enough that we’re never really confused about what’s going on, nor do we feel the need for more character development. It’s a generally well-done movie, even if it’s not really much of a horror movie.

One Response to “Thoughts on “The Ghost Walks””

  1. Thoughts on “The Black Raven” | The Verbose Stoic Says:

    […] a horror movie, but is instead a straight suspense movie. By that, I don’t mean that like “The Ghost Walks” it just isn’t actually scary, but while that one still had the structure of a horror movie […]

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