Trauma (1962)

TRAUMA (1962)
Article #1657 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 9-27-2005
Posting Date: 2-24-2006
Directed by Robert M. Young
Featuring John Conte, Lynn Bari, Lorri Richards

Upon witnessing the murder of her aunt, a young woman is struck with amnesia. Years later, she returns to the old home with her new husband in the hopes of sorting out what happened on that night.

For a good deal of its running time, this movie’s good qualities do battle with its bad qualities for dominance of this film, and for the first half of the movie, it looks as if the latter will win. However, its better qualities take over during the second half of the movie, and the turgid pacing and confused exposition give over to a decent amount of mystery and suspense. The acting is uneven, with the best performance given by Lynn Bari as the socialite aunt; this somewhat atones for the fact that the only sequence in the movie to feature the aunt is the extended prologue at the beginning of the movie (we don’t get the opening titles until fifteen minutes in, and you feel every minute of it), and that the aunt’s main function in the story is to be murdered. Fortunately, there is the occasional suspenseful moment to tide you through to the second half, where the mystery elements start to come to the fore, and you find yourself really wondering about the intentions of the husband, the nature of the extension added to stable, and the secrets surrounding the handicapped son Everett who didn’t die when everyone said he did. The last twenty minutes are the best in the movie. This was the sole directorial effort of Robert M. Young, who would go on to a successful career as a TV writer as well as penning other genre efforts such as THE CRAWLING HAND and ESCAPE TO WITCH MOUNTAIN.

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