The Girl Who Dared

July 9, 2012 at 12:55 am (6 Heads, Girl Who Dared) (, , )

The Girl Who Dared – 1944 – United States

The Girl Who Dared is a mystery/horror flick evoking The Old Dark House (1932) and its many imitators: The Ghost Walks (1934), One Frightened Night (1935), The Rogues Tavern (1936), A Walking Nightmare (1942), One Body Too Many (1944), and others. On a stormy night, the disparate members of a wealthy dysfunctional family attend a ghost-hunting soiree at a secluded manor. No one knows who sent the mysterious invitations. Soon, phone lines are cut, transportation is sabotaged, and someone is knifed to death. An undercover insurance investigator infiltrates the party to locate some stolen radium. When an unidentified corpse materializes along with capsules of radium, the plot thickens and panic escalates.

Girl Who Dared fits comfortably in the Old Dark House mold. The familiar characters include a cowardly black butler, an abusive husband (“If any man has a right to kill his wife, it’s me.”), and identical twins who are intrinsic to the climactic surprise twist. The manor is on an isolated island, complete with secret tunnels. Shadowy lighting and ornate sets (including an excellently cluttered basement) enhance the mood.

Unfortunately, Girl Who Dared is familiar to a fault. By 1944, this sort of flick was pretty long in the tooth, and Girl Who Dared doesn’t strive to separate itself from the crowd. Tight pacing and competent acting can’t overcome the fact that there isn’t a single original idea in the whole movie. Regardless, it’s enjoyable enough, with a fun balance of mystery, horror, action, and romance.

Rating: 6/10 Shrunken Heads. After handling radium, a character fears he has cancer. Only a few years earlier, litigation began concerning the Radium Girls. The Radium Girls were employees of United States Radium Corporation who suffered medical complications (including necrosis of the jaw) from ingesting radium while painting watch dials.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: