Movie Review: The Horror of it All (1964)

Synopsis: Jack Robinson, an American salesman, travels to his English girlfriend, Cynthia's, family estate to ask for permission to marry her. He quickly learns her family is full of eccentric members, including a cousin who thinks she's a vampire and an uncle who creates strange inventions and studies poisonous spiders. When her family members begin to die, Jack realizes there is a murderer in the house looking to inherit the family fortune and his own life is in danger.

Who's in it? The movie stars Pat Boone, Erica Rogers, Dennis Price, Andree Melly and Valentine Dyall.

Review: I came across this movie yesterday evening and, curious about it, decided to add it to my library. I wound up watching it this morning before coming into work and it was admittedly better than I was expecting.

Since the movie was classified as a thriller/comedy, I was a bit concerned I wouldn't enjoy it, mostly because most films struggle to pull off both. However, this film managed to find a reasonable balance and be entertaining.

I think the thing I enjoyed most about the film was the quirkiness of each of the family members. Part of me wondered if maybe they were faking their apparent mental health issues while the other part of me wondered if Cynthia (Rogers) was the lone member who was normal or if she also had some sort of "quirk" that wasn't revealed yet.

The movie also does a great job setting things up, so Robinson (Boone) doesn't have an easy way out of the house. He accidentally pushes his car into a ravine, there is no other car available and nobody within 20 miles of the house. Plus, thanks to the inventor uncle, Percival (Jack Bligh), he couldn't even get out the front door without getting caught in a trap.

I'll be honest, I didn't find many of the jokes as funny as they intended to be and am not sure if that's because of the movie being older or me just not understanding British humor in general. There were, however, some scenes I still found comical, especially the one that took place in Percival's laboratory (though it probably could have done without Boone's musical performance).

One thing that really surprised me about this movie was the way the ending wasn't as predictable as I thought it would be, though it seemed that way at first. At minimum, it didn't ruin what was otherwise a decent movie, which I can't say about a lot of films.

Final Opinion: This film was a pleasant surprise, and I enjoyed every minute of it. I recommend taking the time to watch it if you get a chance.

My Grade: A


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