Here he meets the doctor, his sister Sarah (played by Joan Collins), and eventually the dead man’s solicitor Prescott. All of them try and warn him off but we quickly see that they are also all looking for the missing fortune that is hidden in the house. The rest of the movie is Foster hearing weird noises and possibly getting possessed by the dead man’s spirit. We eventually find out that it was a mental hospital and that the man was committed after his wife, children, and mistress all disappeared mysteriously at the same time that the money did. Is this a real haunting or is someone trying to frighten him out of the home and away from the money? Well, I can’t say without some spoilers which I don’t want to do. I will say that things wrap up with an unexpected but fun twist that may create as many questions as it answered.
This isn’t a perfect movie. It has stretches that feel drawn out and some of the plot twists don’t make sense. But the story does go places and play with expectations in entertaining ways. At times it seems like someone is certainly gaslighting Foster. Hell, there are even discussions between characters as they scheme about it. Though this also leads to one of them congratulating the other for a clever trick only to find out that they weren’t responsible for it. So maybe there was a ghost after all. The plot keeps us guessing, even up to the end. What we see and how it ends could be explained in several ways, which is a nice bit of writing.
The cast is excellent. Our lead is Robert Hardy as Foster. I vaguely remembered him from the Harry Potter movies but was impressed with his resume. The man worked a lot in supporting roles but here as the lead he is able to carry the movie. Where the movie shines though is the supporting cast. I’ve already mentioned that Joan Collins plays Mandeville’s sister Sarah. She is very good in the role as she normally was. Prescott the solicitor (lawyer for my fellow Americans) is played by the legendary Herbert Lom. I saved the best for last as Dr. Mandeville is played by Christopher Lee! This is an amazing cast that keeps things interesting to watch even when maybe there wasn’t a lot going on.
I hadn’t heard of this one before pulling it out of my to watch pile. Not sure where I got it and who recommended it to me… though I suppose this could be a blind by. I normally check out anything Christopher Lee appeared in, which has led to some unfortunate experiences. Dark Places validates my desire to watch all things Lee though as it is a good spooky bit of fun. Not sure where you can find this one at, but it is worth a look.
© Copyright 2023 John Shatzer