58 user 35 critic

The Shuttered Room (1967)

Unrated | | Horror | 20 May 1967 (Japan)
A series of horrific murders is traced to a creature that inhabits a very strange house.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Aunt Agatha
Rick Jones ...
Luther Whately
Mary Whately, Susannah's Mother
William Devlin ...
Zebulon Whately
Charles Lloyd Pack ...
Barge Master
Celia Hewitt ...
Aunt Sarah
John Whately, Susannah's Father
Murray Evans ...
Gang Member
Cliff Diggins ...
Gang Member (as Clifford Diggins)
Peter Porteous ...
Gang Member


In a small island off the American coast, the Whateleys live in an old mill where a mysterious bloody being creates an atmosphere of horror. After her parents get killed by lightning, young Susannah is sent to New York by her aunt Agatha, who wants her to avoid the family curse. Years later Susannah, now married, persuades her husband to spend a holiday in the abandoned mill. Once on the island, Susannah and Mike soon find themselves exposed to the hostility of a gang of thugs led by Ethan, Susannah's brutal cousin... Written by Guy Bellinger

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There are some doors that should never be opened... See more »




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Release Date:

20 May 1967 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Blood Island  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


William Devlin's part was entirely dubbed by the uncredited Donald Sutherland. See more »


Throughout the movie the two rear windows of the Thunderbird are alternately up or down. This happens often in the same scene. It is first noticeable as they back off the ferry. As they back up, the passenger side rear window is up and the driver's is down. But as they as turning around upon leaving the ferry, the driver's side rear window is up and the passenger's is down. This becomes very noticeable throughout the film. See more »


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User Reviews

THE SHUTTERED ROOM (David Greene, 1967) ***
19 October 2008 | by See all my reviews

This is one of the few examples from vintage horror to take as its source an H.P. Lovecraft tale (written with August Derleth); I'd always wanted to watch it because, while awarding it no stars, late British (and famously conservative) critic Leslie Halliwell had nonetheless singled out for praise its direction and cinematography! And he was perfectly right – because director Greene (in his feature-film debut!) makes expert use of the camera, including via his then-ground-breaking adoption of the killer's POV technique.

Though set in America, the film was entirely shot in England – so that British actors like Oliver Reed (in a role reminiscent of the one he played in Hammer's oddest outing, Joseph Losey's THESE ARE THE DAMNED [1963], down to his yearning for a female relative!) and Flora Robson (as the old lady who obviously knows more than she lets on, lives inside a lighthouse and keeps an eagle for a pet: incidentally, she would herself play an extension of this same character in THE BEAST IN THE CELLAR [1970]!) affect an American accent throughout; the leads, then, are nicely filled by genuine Americans – Gig Young (the typically no-nonsense hero) and Carol Lynley (in what amounts to a dual role).

She's returning to her hometown, a remote and backwoods community living under a cloud of mystery and dread (as it happens, fabricated) relating to the house in which the incoming couple intend to stay! Their tenure there isn't made any less comfortable or safe by the somewhat obnoxious antics of the menfolk led by the hot-tempered and virile Reed (though he's eventually put into place in a surprising – and amusing – karate fight with Young). Still, towards the end, while hubby Young is eventually being humiliated by the rest of the gang, Lynley is followed to her house and assaulted by Reed (anticipating Sam Peckinpah's STRAW DOGS [1971] in this regard!)…though he has reckoned without the dangerous figure lurking in the titular location (incidentally, its rapacious movements seem to be echoing those of Robson's eagle itself)! Many, perhaps jaded by Lovecraft's trademark supernatural allusions, were disappointed by the ultimate earthly revelation; however, I hardly think this type of film demanded a monster in the strictest sense of the word – because, in any case, the script seems to be making parallels between the menace it provided and that inherent in the behavior of aimless modern youth! Another definite asset to the film is Basil Kirchin's score, who supplies atypical but highly effective jazz-oriented accompaniment to the ongoing suspenseful and melodramatic events.

Though the film has been recently released on DVD through Warners (as a double-bill with the maligned Golem-related effort IT! [1966]), I had actually acquired this only a little time before its announcement. Consequently, the edition I ended up with was not only sourced from VHS (with resultant intermittent artifacts) but in the full-frame format to boot!; for what it's worth, the same practically goes for three sci-fi titles which have also just debuted on the digital format – namely MOON ZERO TWO (1969), PHASE IV (1974) and THE ULTIMATE WARRIOR (1975)!

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