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"The Spiral Staircase" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

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"The Spiral Staircase" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

Old 09-28-21, 09:19 PM
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"The Spiral Staircase" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge



The Spiral Staircase (1946)




Selected by MysterioMan007


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IMDB ENTRY

STREAMING GUIDE INCLUDING AD-SUPPORTED SERVICES

THE CRITERION CHALLENGE

INDIEFLIX
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These "October Horror Movie Challenge" threads are for the discussion of the films in the 31 FILM SUBSET list.

The plan is for everyone to watch this film on the October day in the thread title, and to start discussing it the morning of the following day.
You may start discussion early if you want, but the preferred plan is for this to be as much of a group exercise as possible, with all of us viewing it "together" and discussing after.

Of course, you are totally encouraged to participate in these threads even if you haven't watched the movie on the designated day.
Even if you haven't watched it in years, or are not participating in the Horror Challenge, please feel free to chime in.



Spoiler tags aren't always used in here, so if you have yet to see the film BEWARE OF POSSIBLE SPOILERS.

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2021 DISCUSSION | 2021 LISTS

Old 10-04-21, 09:20 AM
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Re: "The Spiral Staircase" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

A murder mystery melodrama with an all star cast. Ethel Barrymore plays a sickly woman who is head of a house with a dark past and two malevolent brothers. The camera work is excellent.
8/10
Old 10-04-21, 02:14 PM
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Re: "The Spiral Staircase" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

Apparently drafted from a radio production the witty and theatrical dialogue carry this film a long way with a relatively straight plot by todays standards; the camera work is good with sweeping gothic style.
Old 10-04-21, 02:29 PM
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Re: "The Spiral Staircase" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

Even though this was my pick, I had never seen 3 of the 4 movies I chose. I liked this one better than I thought I would. The storm raging outside added a lot to the atmosphere.of this one. I hadn't picked the killer out in this one because I wasn't really trying, but it was kind of a surprise. I also liked Dorothy McGuire as the main character, Helen. Well done movie.
Old 10-04-21, 05:20 PM
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Re: "The Spiral Staircase" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

I was anticipating a ghost story but this was good too.
I’m ashamed it took me an hour to realize that Dorothy McGuire who played Helen was also the mom in Swiss Family Robinson. I’ve seen that one countless times.
Old 10-04-21, 09:41 PM
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Re: "The Spiral Staircase" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

I've seen this a few times and enjoyed the rewatch. This film hits my sweet spot--heavy on gothic atmosphere and mystery, low on gore. I love Helen and the way her being mute plays into the plot. The storm is so atmospheric. 4/5 stars.
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Old 10-04-21, 10:15 PM
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Re: "The Spiral Staircase" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

I guess I will be the dissenting voice on this one.

I really wanted to like it. Good acting. Decent, sometimes witty dialogue. Likeable characters. Good atmosphere. I like the time period.

But damn was I bored. It started off decent enough (was that a young Grandma Walton I noticed?) but sunk into a go nowhere story. I just didn't find it compelling at all and found myself wanting to watch something else. That's a bad sign.

I hung around until the end but found it to be anti-climatic and unfulfilling. After the earlier awesomeness of The Phantom Carriage...well...can't win them all I guess.

My rating: *1/2 out of *****
Old 10-05-21, 12:06 AM
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Re: "The Spiral Staircase" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

I didn't watch this but it comes highly recommended on the Bay Of Blood audio. Future purchase for me for sure.
Old 10-05-21, 12:16 PM
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Re: "The Spiral Staircase" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

First time view here. I was expecting a little more than this, and was a bit thrown off by the humor. Very atmospheric movie.
Old 10-05-21, 01:00 PM
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Re: "The Spiral Staircase" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

Like Vertigo a traumatic event was needed to supercede a prior traumatic event for Helen's voice to return. And Ethel Barrymore's stare can pierce the soul!
Old 10-24-21, 09:58 AM
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Re: "The Spiral Staircase" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

An intriguing first time viewing that has me wanting to explore it further someday.

Stealing rbrown’s subset ranking idea:

The Phantom Carriage, 8/10
The Spiral Staircase, 8/10
Road Games, 7/10
Slither, 7/10
Silent Madness, 5/10
The Severed Arm, 4/10

Last edited by Trevor; 10-25-21 at 08:34 PM.

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