ROOM TO LET (1950)
Article #265 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing date: 12-6-2001
Posting date: 4-21-2002
A mysterious lodger moves into the home of a reporter’s girlfriend at about the same time as a fire at an asylum that was covered by the reporter. His story involved a missing patient of the asylum, but was censored from the paper, and he sees evidence of a cover-up on the matter.
This is basically a variation of THE LODGER, and a very effective one. Valentine Dyall steals the movie as the truly creepy lodger, Dr. Fell, and one can’t help but be frightened of what this man may be capable of doing. Those expecting a mere replay of THE LODGER are in for a surprise, however; towards the end it takes the damnedest of left turns when you least expect it (without giving too much away, it turns from a horror thriller to, of all things, a locked room murder mystery), but still manages to steer to a quite satisfying ending. Hammer fans may notice the name of the producer (Anthony Hinds), and the assistant director whose name is more familiar as that of a screenwriter (Jimmy Sangster).