The Dark Hour (1936)
Article 5575 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Charles Lamont
Featuring Ray Walker, Berton Churchill, Irene Ware
What it is: Mystery
An old tycoon who lives with his brother is found murdered. Who is responsible?
This one ended up on my suggestions list, no doubt because it was perceived as a possible addition to the “old dark house” horror subgenre. Well, it bears at least one element in common with that subgenre; we have an old man who has made a lot of enemies murdered in his room. However, beyond that, this seems to be one of those movies that bears little resemblance to that subgenre; no secret passages, no masked killers, no seances… there’s not even a wisecracking reporter. Instead, the movie focuses on the investigation of the murder by two detectives. Furthermore, the movie is brightly lit, which makes it feel even less like an “old dark house” movie. On its own terms, it’s a bit creaky, but it does manage to throw in three rather entertaining plot twists during the last five minutes, which is probably the most memorable thing about this one. It’s okay, but I think we’re pretty far from the “old dark house” here.