El fantasma del convento (1934)

aka Phantom of the Convent
Article 2484 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 1-22-2008
Posting Date: 5-31-2008
Directed by Fernando de Fuentes
Featuring Enrique del Campo, Marta Roel, Carlos Villatoro
Country: Mexico

Two men and a woman lost in the woods are taken to a convent by a monk with his dog. There they encounter a group of mysterious monks and eerie happenings.

If it hasn’t already happened, I hope someday someone gets it into their head to restore some of the older Mexican horror films and give them subtitles. When they do, I hope this one is at the top of their list. Yes, I have trouble figuring out what’s going on because of the language problem, but the movie is full of so many interesting and strange touches (including a room with a large cross nailed across the door, a bat’s shadow on the wall, and a tilted cabinet) that I found myself intrigued and caught up in it anyway. It makes excellent use of silence and sound throughout, and I think this one may be one of the best of the Mexican horror movies. However, a lot hinges on the dialogue and explanations, which I can’t follow. One of these days, I may just set out to learn Spanish…



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