One Frightened Night

August 13, 2015 at 2:56 am (6 Heads, One Frightened Night) (, , )

One Frightened Night – 1935 – United States

On a stormy night, an aging millionaire hosts a dinner party at his mansion. He announces to his gathered friends and family that each of them will inherit a million dollars. But when the millionaire’s estranged daughter arrives unexpectedly, the millionaire has a change of heart and gives all his money to her instead. Now denied of their inheritance, the partygoers are upset. The millionaire’s daughter is soon poisoned to death, and no one in the house is above suspicion. Shortly after, another woman arrives at the mansion also claiming to be the millionaire’s daughter. What the heck is going on here?

One Frightened Night’s improbable premise is inspired by The Old Dark House (1932). Wacky characters are trapped in a mansion (during a power outage, no less) with a murderer in a monster mask. Mystery, comedy, and horror ensue. The mystery is unpredictable since the various clues implicate nearly every member of the shifty cast.

One Frightened Night’s characters have a lot of personality. The sardonic millionaire delivers amusing insults, and his spunky daughter is sassy and charming. But the most memorable is a vaudevillian magician who performs sleight of hand tricks and likes to brawl. The mansion itself also has character. It holds secret passages, a mummy in a sarcophagus, and a menacing statue of the Hindu goddess Kali (“Lord of Death”).

Rating: 6/10 Shrunken Heads. One Frightened Night has a clever title sequence. Close-ups of the mansion’s windows are shown. As the shades are drawn, the film’s credits appear on them.


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