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Noble-born cad Denis (Stapley) has been tricked into a forced stay at the eerie manor of the Sire de Maletroit (Laughton), an evil madman who can't get over the death of his beloved, twenty years after she married his brother (Cavanagh) instead and subsequently passed away during childbirth. Maletroit is determined to have his revenge: the brother has been stowed away in the dungeon for two decades, while he's convinced his disreputable house guest will make a suitably hellish husband for his niece. As luck would have it, the young couple manage to fall in love, and with the help of manservant Voltan (Karloff), they try to make their escape, but not before a final confrontation with Maletroit in the dungeon's crushing deathtrap. Written by
Stephen Cooke <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Noble-born cad Dennis (Stapley) has been tricked into a forced stay at the eerie manor of the Sire de Maletroit (Charles Laughton), an evil madman who cannot get over the death of his beloved, twenty years after she married his brother (Paul Cavanagh) instead and subsequently passed away during childbirth.
This film starts as a period piece and slowly turns into a horror story. Quite slowly, in fact, to the point where you may even doubt if the horror aspects are going to arise. But this plays out well, building the characters and situation for the events that are to come.
While this is sometimes considered a Boris Karloff film, Karloff actually has a rather small role to play. It ought to be called a Charles Laughton film, because Laughton shines. He has such charisma, stealing every scene (in a good way) and leaving you wanting more. He ought to be a bigger deal than he is.
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