The Ghoul

Movie Information

In Brief: Long considered to be a lost film, The Ghoul is back in circulation and not merely the curio you might expect a 1933 British picture to be. It's a full-fledged classic of the horror genre from its richest era. Set in the creepiest old, dark house imaginable, filled with a first-rate cast and directed with great skill by its little-known director, this yarn about an Egyptologist (Karloff) coming back from the dead can now take its rightful place with the great Hollywood horrors of the 1930s. How The Ghoul came to be a great horror picture is a mystery. You can pore over the film’s credits all you like, but apart from the incredible cast — not just Karloff, but Ernest Thesiger, Cedric Hardwicke, Ralph Richardson (his film debut) and a surprisingly animated Anthony Bushell — there’s nothing to suggest this should be anything other than ordinary. The writers have no other claims on the genre and director T. Hayes Hunter is impossible to assess because none of his other films seem to be available. It is perhaps a happy series of accidents that led to the results here, but whatever the case, the film is richly melodramatic horror — with marvelous performances, a witty script, atmospheric direction and a surprising number of effective shocks — including a final scene for Karloff that may well be the grimmest and most startling moment in classic horror. This excerpt was taken from a review by Ken Hanke, published on June 11, 2013.
Genre: Horror
Director: T. Hayes Hunter
Starring: Boris Karloff, Cedric Hardwicke, Ernest Thesiger, Dorothy Hyson, Anthony Bushell, Ralph Richardson
Rated: NR

The Thursday Horror Picture Show will screen The Ghoul on Thursday, March 30, at 9:15 p.m. at The Grail Moviehouse, hosted by Xpress movie critic Scott Douglas.

About Ken Hanke
Head film critic for Mountain Xpress from December 2000 until his death in June 2016. Author of books "Ken Russell's Films," "Charlie Chan at the Movies," "A Critical Guide to Horror Film Series," "Tim Burton: An Unauthorized Biography of the Filmmaker."

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