Haunted Spooks (1920)

HAUNTED SPOOKS (1920)
Short
Article 3939 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 5-22-2012
Posting Date: 5-27-2012
Directed by Alfred J. Goulding and Hal Roach
Featuring Harold Lloyd, Mildred Davis, Wallace Howe
Country: USA
What it is: Comic haunted house short

A boy courts an unmarried girl who is the heiress to a fortune, provided she stays there one year with her husband. However, he has rivals for the girl’s affection, and there’s a scheming uncle who wants the inheritance for himself…

This is my only encounter so far with Harold Lloyd in my series, and even though I can’t say I’m familiar with his work, I suspect that this isn’t one of the high points. Still, it’s a pretty decent take on the old haunted house comedy, even though I think the comic high point (Lloyd tries unsuccessfully to commit suicide) comes before we even reach the haunted house section. The film also suffers a bit from the stereotypical scared black, with the entire work crew of the house panicking when they hear the place is haunted. Of course, it’s not really haunted, and we all know that early on. But as far as silent haunted house short comedies go, I think I’ll still opt for Buster Keaton’s THE HAUNTED HOUSE.

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