The Hemdales moved into their dream house. But their happy marriage is about to be put to the test as they discover the secret behind the Black Room in the cellar. Something's living there - a supernatural entity growing stronger every day!
This review is for the 2017 film. Amazon still has some unlinking to perform.
Paul (Lukas Hassel) and Jennifer (Natasha Henstridge) move into a house that has an incubus trapped in the basement, a sexual demon. Sister (Augie Duke) comes to visit, etc. etc. Tiffany Shepis, Lin Shaye, and Dominique Swain in minor roles.
The opening credits played an Emerson Lake and Palmer cover tune which got me hooked. The film was like a cross between "Evil Toons" and "Re-Animator." The production excelled when it was being funny and flopped when it took itself too seriously. A Zelda Rubinstein impersonator taking care of the issue would have been great.
Twins are born with a family prophesy that the younger brother will kill the older in the Black Room of a huge estate. To prevent the tragedy, the Black Room is bricked over and sealed. Despite a few moments of weak acting and some improbable plot twists, this is a solid thriller. The action moves quickly, and the story is engaging. Cliches like ‘rip-roaring tale’ and ‘on the edge of your seat’ apply here. Boris Karloff in dual roles plays both brothers. Marian Marsh’s beauty radiates. She truly has porcelain doll features. I’d recommend adding this to your collection with other early 30s thrillers/horror/mystery films such as Frankenstein and the Wolf Man. Must See viewing.
Boris Karloff's first (and best) Columbia vehicle ranks admirably with his best Universal chillers. Directed in atmospheric fashion by Roy William Neill, "The Black Room" (1935) provides a classic showcase for the horror icon as twin brothers Gregor and Anton de Berghman. Fast-moving gothic melodrama effectively disguises its low budget. One of Karloff's finest hours, with memorable support from Thurston Hall. A pity that the opening credits have not been fully restored.
Although I'm not a huge fan of horror movies, I've come to appreciate writer director Rolfe Kanefsky's clever balance of comedy and horror to make watching movies more FUN! I was always a fan of earlier classics like Evil Dead 2/Army of Darkness, Gremlins, and Tremors so I found it refreshing in watching The Black Room to find that clever balance of humor, horror, and gore. I'm not expecting a bigtime commercial horror flick here but I found some creative and entertaining setups throughout the film, one of which involves a small cup of expresso in a restaurant I won't spoil. There were quite a few references and homages to classic horror films which is always fun to try and spot and the entire cast play their roles naturally without being over the top. Also the practical effects over heavy CGI is more enjoyable to see. Like every horror film, not everybody is going to love it, but the important part is to go into it to have a roller coaster of a fun time and not know what's going to happen next. So step into The Black Room if you're looking for a fun, sexy, gory good horror of a time!