SOMETHING CREEPING IN THE DARK (Mario Colucci, 1971) ***
I first became aware of this (and its equally obscure director) via the *** star rating on the "Giallo" section of the "Cult Filmz" website; incidentally, I also did not know that Farley Granger had worked so extensively in Italy in that Luchino Visconti's SENSO (1954) was no fluke (I recently watched him in a hybrid poliziottesco/giallo, and another good one it was, Massimo Dallamano's WHAT HAVE THEY DONE TO YOUR DAUGHTERS? )! Having mentioned the latter, this too is as much a horror piece as a giallo since it involves a manifestation brought about by a séance conducted at dead-of-night. The cast is quite interesting not only mixing familiar/international names (including, apart from the afore-mentioned American actor, Italians Lucia Bose' and Giacomo Rossi-Stuart) with unknown faces, but there are even a couple of behind-the-camera personnel (producer Dino Fazio and renowned composer Angelo Francesco Lavagnino, who also supplies a fine moody score) in the significant roles of Police Inspector and Professor/Occultist respectively! The plot is the typical 'old dark house' routine throwing myriad characters together, stranded by bad weather in a remote and forbidding environment (adding plenty of atmosphere to the already dour brew); harking back to Agatha Christie's much-filmed "And Then There Were None" prototype rather than the traditional stalk'n'slash formula, it is something of a quintessential offering (thus undeservedly overlooked) in this regard. By the way, the notion of having the spirit at large possessing members of the household in turn to commit mayhem would be adopted by Hollywood much later for the not-too-bad IDENTITY (2003)! The still attractive (and former Miss Italy) Bose' was on something of a latter-day roll during this period since, among others, she made two similarly notable (and likewise strange) efforts i.e. Romolo Guerrieri's THE DOUBLE (1971) and Giulio Questi's extremely-rare ARCANA (1972); unfortunately, her character is made to expire halfway through, but the actress nonetheless makes a lasting impression. Ditto Granger, uncharacteristically cast here as a hardened criminal, pretty much retains the youthful looks that had served the Hollywood veteran so well in his heyday; the film's marvelous if somewhat abrupt finale has him as the ghost's latest 'fall guy', to adopt a noir phrase (a genre which tended to elicit the best from the actor).
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?