Summer of Forgotten Horror – Week 9: Things Happen at Night (1948)
Cast: Gordon Harker as Joe Harris
Alfred Drayton as Wilfred Prescott
Gwyneth Vaughn as Audrey Prescott
Olga Lindo as Hilda Prescott
Wylie Watson as Watson the butler
Based on the play The Poltergeist by Frank Harvey Jr.
Screenplay by St. John Legh Clowes
Directed by Francis Searle
Plot: A young girl is possessed by a poltergeist as strange things happen in the home, such as coal flying about, lamps being dropped and objects moving on their own. While Wilfred Prescott doubts the seriousness of the situation, others work towards solving the mystery including a ghost buster and an insurance investigator who is out to prove none of it is real.
Personal Thoughts: The best I can say about this movie is that it is harmless. It isn’t a bad film nor is it very good. Mostly, nothing really seems to happen. It’s as if a bunch of actors gathered on a set one day and decided to have some fun with the camera. Perhaps I went into this one with higher expectations based on the description. It’s also possible that I didn’t see the best parts as the version I watched clocked in at just under an hour while IMDB lists it as a 79-minute film. I didn’t hate it but it’s very forgettable.
- Neither director Francis Searle or writer St. John Legh Clowes are remembered for much in the United States but had lengthy, if not spectacular, careers in the UK.
- There is a credit for a song entitled “First of Forever” as sung by Marilyn Williams. This did not appear in the version I watched.
- Never released commercially, this is another rare film you’ll have to search for. The print I saw is a little rough but watchable. You can catch it on YouTube if you so desire.