The Unseen (1945)

Article #1247 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 8-13-2004
Posting Date: 1-10-2005
Directed by Lewis Allen
Featuring Joel McCrea, Gail Russell, Herbert Marshall

A woman takes on a job as a governess to two children, only to discover that they’re harboring some mysterious secret involving an unsolved murder and an empty house next door.

Despite the fact that the movie really has no fantastic content (other than the sinister mood of the movie and the fact that the strange visitor remains a shadowy figure until the end), this movie is generally considered a follow-up to THE UNINVITED. This is no doubt due to the fact that both movies were directed by Lewis Allen, and that they have similar titles. A number of people consider this a disappointment, and I can see why; the beginning of the movie is awkward (with some very clumsy narration), and it ends rather flatly. Nonetheless, I found the rest of the movie to be rather engrossing; the first half plays like a variation of “The Turn of the Screw”, and it’s a lot of fun to see how the mysterious details in the first half all start to fall together in the second half. I was able to figure out who the villain would be fifteen minutes before it ended, but it does a good job of keeping you in the dark as to the motivations of many of the characters until the proper time. It’s not perfect, but I found it quite entertaining.


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