Someone at the Door (1950)

Article 5324 by Dave Sindelar
Date: 12-18-2016
Directed by Francis Searle
Featuring Michael Medwin, Garry Marsh, Yvonne Owen
Country: UK
What it is: Comedy in the “old dark house” mode

A down-on-his luck journalist who lives with his sister in a supposedly haunted house hits upon a scheme to make it big; he plans to fake the murder of his sister and write about the experience. However, the scheme goes awry when a real body turns up…

This pre-horror Hammer comedy has a rating of 4.8 on IMDB, which means it doesn’t have much of a reputation. Well, truth be told, it isn’t much of a movie, but if you take it for what it is (a late-period old dark house variant based on a stage play), it has its uses. There are a few mildly amusing jokes and a couple of decent plot twists, which is more than some examples of this genre have. It also has some dead spots and annoying moments; the opening bit where the brother and sister look for the sources of the scary laughs in the haunted house is tired and obvious. To enjoy it, it helps if you like the “old dark house”‘ subgenre, keep your expectations in check, and ignore the fact that it’s from Hammer.

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