The Black Room - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Black Room Reviews

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½ June 12, 2016
Karloff stars as twin brothers, one evil, one good. A family prophecy predicts that the evil one will murder the good one in "the black room", so their father seals it off. Good Karloff doesn't seem to see the warning signs when his brother breaks the seal. Karloff is okay, but not as good as he can be in this decent by-the-numbers horror flick. He tends to overplay the good and bad characteristics of the brothers to highlight the differences between them.
August 31, 2013
Karloff Does well in this unusual scary movie. I enjoyed the inclusions of Budapest, but it seemed odd since it was based in Tyrol.

Overall The plot had its shortcomings, but it was still engaging.
½ July 26, 2013
Stylish gothic horror film with Boris Karloff playing twins, one god and one evil who will stop at nothing to take possession of the family estate. There are also ancient family curses to deal with, which complicate matters. Karloff gives a terrific performance and the film has excellent atmosphere that's greatly enhanced with moody photography and good production design. It's a must see for fans of Karloff and classic horror.
½ September 27, 2012
Bravo! Bravissimo! Extraordinary Karloff Performance--Dual role for Karloff really makes the film worthwhile!!
½ August 24, 2012
Karloff shines in this minor gothic horror about twins (one evil , the other good) and a secret room in their ancestral castle. Some eerie and startling moments, especially the reveal of Gregor's pit in the Black Room.
May 25, 2012
This may be the best movie poster ever.
½ August 2, 2011
the dog saves the day!
½ January 15, 2011
Great Universal horror flick that gets surprisingly little attention.
November 17, 2010
recommended by ajv2688.................
Super Reviewer
October 15, 2010
Karloff plays twin brothers, one good and one evil, which sounds cool, and he gives good performances, but the movie tells you the end more than once, so it's just a matter of seeing how the prophesy of the good twin killing the evil twin will happen. It was predictable because of that, but it wasn't bad.
½ April 25, 2010
Splendid gothic melodrama with a magnificent double (actually triple!) performance from Boris Karloff, as well as a strong directing job by Roy William Neill, this is an excellent film which stands up to the very best work Karloff did over at Universal from this period. Karloff‚??s performance elevates what might have been a mere gimmick to one of the richest displays of acting of his career embodying the dual roles of both ‚??good brother‚?? and ‚??bad brother‚?? with relish and nuance. The screenplay is surprisingly tight and suspenseful and the cinematography atmospheric.
December 31, 2009
Its double the Karloff and and thus double the murder in this diabolically plotted thriller. The production design is very atmospheric with moody choices of Catholic iconography throughout the film. Angled statues of Christ on the cross and the Virgin Mary bear silent witness to the various dark acts of the murderous twin. The film's prologue is a wonderful touch to the film and helps flesh out the story. Karloff delivers a captivating performance as both brothers with wonderful touches in both characters. Karloff contrasts the more foppish and kind-hearted Anton with the grim Gregor with very human performances for both. Karloff's use of voice and facial expression right away allows the audience to like Anton. But its his performance as Gregor where he really lets loose; its a leering lothario of an act that remains subtly so when its Gregor playing Anton. The film's conclusion is a bit hooky with the hound of the Baskerville saving the day, but it manages to work.
Super Reviewer
½ November 1, 2009
According to prophesy, the noble House of de Berghman will end as it began, in murder. Fratricide, to be precise, with a brother slain by his younger sibling. So, when his wife gives birth to twin boys (Gregor and Anton), Baron de Berghman takes the precaution of walling up the room in which the murder will supposedly take place: the Black Room. Several decades later, Gregor, now the despised Baron, comes up with his own drastic but beautifully simple scheme to cheat the prophesy... The good-and-evil twins plotline has been done to death of course - it probably already had by 1935 - but this one is hard to beat for entertainment. The production isn't quite first-class but Karloff is brilliant, essentially playing three parts here: wicked Gregor, kindly Anton, and wicked-Gregor-masquerading-as-kindly-Anton. Though the plot is full of holes (for instance, wouldn't it have been safest to have demolished the Black Room?) and the script has the annoying habit of stating the obvious, this is still great fun.
October 29, 2009
Surely a sparkling gem for Karloff fans. Playing double roles for the twin brothers demonstrates what a great range of performer he was. Karloff plays both the devilish and kind brothers, but in addition, he portrays the nasty brother imitating the gentle one. And that's what makes this masterpiece fun along with great sets, costumes, and lighting. It was like a Gothic fairy tale with good amount of horror elements.
Director Roy William Neil did an excellent job; especially having the two twins in the same room together really boost this underrated film. Kudos to Columbia Pictures, they showed that there was more to Karloff than just the Frankenstein's monster.
½ October 21, 2009
Enjoyable gothic melodrama. It looks lovely and has interesting camera movements. It' s not the least bit scary but Boris Karloff playing twins is amusing.
October 12, 2009
And impeccably shot chiller with Boris Karloff delivering some of the finest work of his entire career. This is no exaggeration. His portrayal of Gregor, Anton and Gregor masquerading as Anton are all perfectly done. Delivering where it countes, The Black Room is a classy golden age horror tale about cursed twins. See it!
January 5, 2009
a few legitimately creepy moments. overall not as predictable as i thought it would be.
December 24, 2008
Mostly a typical melodrama of the era, but a cool dual role by Karloff and a neat-o oubliette make it more memorable than it should be.
Super Reviewer
November 3, 2008
Karloff plays a good twin and a evil twin. Classic Karloff,looks great and is alot of fun to watch.
½ November 2, 2008
Very cool film. Boris Karloff was awesome playing the parts of both twin brothers. The story was told very well and not overdone.
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