Movie Review: Invisible Ghost (1941)

Synopsis: Charles Kessler believes his wife left him, but she is actually being hidden by one of his servants after suffering brain damage from an automobile accident. Whenever Charles sees her wandering the grounds at night, it causes him to go into a trance that turns him into a homicidal maniac.

Who's in it? The movie stars Bela Lugosi, Polly Ann Young, Clarence Muse, John McGuire and Betty Compson.

Review: I came across this film on one of our movie channels a few days ago and, since I had some extra time this morning, decided to watch it. It wasn't quite what I was expecting it to be but did turn out to be a decent movie overall.

I had hoped this film would be more of a mystery, with servants' bodies popping up and no idea who was behind the murders and, at first at least, was a bit disappointed when the movie revealed it was Kessler (Lugosi) committing them. However, as the movie progressed, I found that wasn't as important as I thought it would be.

The way Kessler managed to get away with the murders, including having his daughter's (Young) suitor (McGuire) being charged/convicted on one of them, was interesting. I was particularly fascinated with the fact the police didn't seem to think of Kessler or anyone else in the house as a suspect, despite the murders happening at night when the doors would be (presumably) locked. 

Of course, I also found it was interesting he still managed to keep servants even as the bodies kept being found. You would think they would look for some place safer to work, loyalty to Kessler or not. 

There was also the mystery about why Kessler would fall into his trance whenever he saw his wife (Compson). I wondered if it was just because he was going insane or if someone hypnotized him for some unknown motive. I also wondered if his wife's car accident was really an accident or if he tried to kill her.

Unfortunately, I wasn't a huge fan of the ending, mostly because it left a lot of questions unanswered and added one or two more. While I wasn't disappointed to the point I felt it ruined the movie, I do feel like spending one or two extra minutes adding a better explanation would have been beneficial.

Final Opinion: The ending doesn't provide any real closure, but the overall movie was better than I was expecting, and I would recommend it.

My Grade: B-


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