Creaky Old Melodrama
- The Haunted Castle review by Count Otto Black
This lesser-known film by one of the masters of German Expressionism is obscure for a reason: it isn't very good. In fact, it's downright dull. A German aristocrat is accused of murdering his brother, an event which we never see because it happened before the film begins, as did the trial and acquittal of his alleged murderer. Since we're told from the start that the Count presumably committed the evil deed because everybody thinks so, it's clear he's such an excessively obvious suspect that the real murderer must have been somebody else. Eventually we find out who, and it doesn't come as much of a surprise. In the meantime, guests at a country house party that isn't any fun at all scowl at each other and become vaguely paranoid because their host murdered his brother. Allegedly.
If you're expecting supernatural happenings along the lines of "Nosferatu", you'll be disappointed. The English-language title is completely misleading, since absolutely no ghostly activity takes place. There aren't any castles either. At one point a minor character has a bad dream lasting less than a minute which has nothing to do with anything, and that's as creepy as it gets. And the twist ending will take very few people by surprise. Oh, it's shot fairly well, there's a certain amount of atmosphere, and this print has been lovingly restored. But we're still looking at 82 minutes of almost nothing happening.
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