Monday, 11 April 2011
post # 100 : THE SPIRAL STAIRCASE (1946)
Helen, a mute girl, works as a maid at a sinister mansion where a psycho killer happens to reside...
Enjoyable melodrama with several effective suspence scenes.
Dorothy McGuire is instantly believable in the lead. Her moving performance elevates THE SPIRAL STAIRCASE above it's genre origins to the level of true drama.
Good story (the final killer identity reveal is no big surprise, though) and excellent monochrome photography are also worth noting.
This Robert Siodmak film has undoubtedly influenced the early horror films of Jess Franco - GRITOS EN LA NOCHE and especially LE SADIQUE BARON VON KLAUS (both from 1962).
Dario Argento included an explicit visual reference to THE SPIRAL STAIRCASE in his 1975 giallo classic PROFONDO ROSSO.
Recommended to those who don't need their horror to be graphic and enjoy B/W Academy ratio compositions.