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Secret Beyond the Door (rewatch)

Posted by martinteller on September 26, 2012

That fear always sets in when I pop in a newly purchased DVD (or in this case, Blu-Ray) of a film I’ve only seen once.  Did I make a big mistake?  Have I wasted more money, of which I’ll only recoup a fraction on eBay?

Those feelings stuck with me at first through the movie, but eventually I realized that my first review could be trusted.  Indeed, if anything, I would strike out a few of the negatives.  I suppose the film is “slow to get going” but only in the sense of propelling the plot forward.  In terms of establishing atmosphere, it’s terrific stuff.  That air of sorrowful dread hangs over everything from the first moments of the movie and never lets up.  And the Rozsa score didn’t strike me as too heavy at all this time around, it was just right for the gothic, introspective melodrama on the screen.

The main area where the movie does falter is the “half-baked psychology.”  Too much explaining Mark’s Freudian background, and the scene where Celia talks him through his memories would be painful if not for the wonderful build-up to it and gorgeous cinematography.  Other than this misstep, a haunting and captivating bit of melancholic, mysterious noir.  Rating: Great (90)


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