I have the knack of finding some of the strangest “horror” movies ever made and Dead of Night (1945) fits quite nicely into the slot. It’s a British anthology film with an Alfred Hitchcock/Twilight Zone feel. Not all the stories in this film are frightening, well, actually, none of them are, but that’s not to say they aren’t good, except for one.
The movie revolves around Mr. Craig arriving at a country house, where he recognizes everyone inside because he’s dreamed them for years. He explains his predicament and the dread he feels for being there. Dr. Van Straaten says he’s experiencing déjà vu, but Craig isn’t any more relaxed about it.
When a few of the house guest begin telling stories, it becomes stranger. There’s one about a man who is in a racing accident, then while in the hospital sees a horse-drawn hearse and the hearse driver tells him there’s room for one more. Then a girl tells a haunted house story, followed by a haunted mirror tale. These and the last are the best of the bunch.
The fourth story is, in my opinion, very lame, and is about two golfing buddies who decide that whoever wins a tournament, gets the girl. I couldn’t finish watching this segment as it was way beyond cheeky, so I fast-forwarded to its end. The final story features a ventriloquist and his puppet, which is creepy with the doll alone. Between each story, Mr. Craig goes further into a frenzy, predicting broken glasses, the house going dark, and him beating the girl who told the haunted house story. The Dr. also gives his comments about each story, except the last, which he told.
I couldn’t help laughing at the ending, it really wasn’t a surprise, but a definite eye-rolling moment, some of the final sequence was psychotic and other bits were nonsensical. Do I recommend this movie? Honestly, I don’t know. I’m not going to say not to watch it, but if there’s something else available, I’d go with that.
I give this fiasco 2 out of 5 Stars.