The Woman Who Came Back (1945)

Article #1302 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 10-7-2004
Posting Date: 3-6-2005
Directed by Walter Colmes
Featuring John Loder, Nancy Kelly, Otto Kruger

A woman returning to her home town meets a strange woman on the bus, and then becomes the only survivor when the bus crashes into a lake. She becomes convinced that she is possessed by the spirit of 300-year old witch.

This movie has some real strengths and some real problems. One of the biggest of the latter is a weak script; it tries to provide a Lewtonian touch to the proceedings, but it lacks the subtlety of a Lewton film and fails to effectively walk that delicate line between the supernatural and psychological; as a result, much of the movie is obvious, clunky and unconvincing, and the ending leaves a lot of unanswered questions. Still, there are some truly great individual moments here; it opens with a bang, it makes effective use of sound at times, and it does work up a real scare or two. I also like the title, since it’s ambiguous enough to refer to two different women. It also bears a certain surface similarity to CARNIVAL OF SOULS, but I think it would be possible to make too much of this. All in all, it’s worth catching for its good moments, but ultimately it doesn’t quite deliver the goods.


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