A spine-chilling tale that's long on atmosphere and short on bright dialog; but the actors do well with what they are given, and Greene's moody direction almost saves the day. Although supposedly set in New England, the picture was actually shot in England at Cornwall, noticeable to only the most knowledgeable viewer. Lynley and her husband, Young, return to a bleak island where Lynley was born. She's inherited an old mill and wants to see if it's worth anything. Not having been back to this desolate place since childhood, she is surprised at how the locals respond when she talks
about using the mill house as a vacation retreat. It seems that the place has a frightening history. Reed is Lynley's cousin, a weird and evil type, who tells her to avoid the mill house. So does her aunt, the magnificently eccentric Robson. There's a room in the mill house that's tightly locked, and she's warned to let it stay that way. (We've seen this in THE SHINING, THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY, and many other "locked room" movies.) Lynley decides to see what's so secret. Meanwhile, Young is beaten up by Reed and some of his sullen pals. Before Lynley gets to the room in question, Reed steps out of the darkness and, it would seem, is interested in having his way with her. She races into the shuttered room, and Reed follows her inside, carrying a burning torch. In the darkness, someone or something causes Reed to fall out of the high window and die. Young has been talking to Robson, who has disclosed the secret of the room now that Reed's girl friend, Arthy, has also been murdered. It turns out that the shuttered room has been occupied for all these years by Lynley's sister (also played by Lynley), a crippled woman with a maniacal, murderous streak. She's been confined to the room and taken care of by Robson for decades. Young races to the mill house where the room is now on fire, due to Reed's torch having been dropped. Lynley and Young get away, but Robson arrives and locks herself in the room with the mad sister, thus allowing the flames to engulf them both. Lynley is excellent, and Reed shows his customary brand of malevolence. The dialog is, at best, serviceable to carry along the brooding, often frightening visuals.
Cast & Details See all »
- Rating: NR
- Review: A spine-chilling tale that's long on atmosphere and short on bright dialog; but the actors do well with what they are given, and Greene's moody direction almost saves the day. Although supposedly set in New England, the picture was actually shot in England… (more)