The Monkey’s Paw (1948)

Article 2358 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 9-9-2007
Posting Date: 1-26-2008
Directed by Norman Lee
Featuring Milton Rosmer, Megs Jenkins, Michael Martin Harvey

A cursed monkey’s paw comes into the possession of a shop owner. Despite warnings about the curse, he wishes upon it for the money to pay off a bookie. He gets the money, but at a price…

W. W. Jacobs’s “The Monkey’s Paw” is a classic horror short story, but it’s also fairly short, so in order to expand it to a full-length movie, you have to find some way to fill up the time. Apparently, Jacobs expanded the story himself; IMDB claims that this movie was based on a play version of the story written by Jacobs. I don’t know how much of this movie comes from the play version, but in expanding it, it does the usual things; it comes up with more backstory and fleshes out the characters. All in all, it does a good job of it as well; after a while, you get attached to the various characters in the story and you care about what happens to them. The climax of the story is suitably tense and eerie as well. Still, if you’re familiar with the story, you’ll find this one fairly slow out of the gate.


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