The Spiral Staircase - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Spiral Staircase Reviews

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June 11, 2012
I guessed everything but who the killer was, which was actually the most clever part.
June 8, 2012
Excellent serial killer thriller set in an old dark mansion. Many current slashers have borrowed from this movie. Loved Elsa Lanchester as Ms Oats.
April 18, 2012
Brilliant gothic noir, with some sublime, Hitchcockian, cinematographic touches. Somewhat spoiled by a 'happy' ending.
April 10, 2012
Very suspenseful & entertaining! A little formulaic, but still worth watching. If you like classic murder mysteries or Hitchcock movies, you'll probably enjoy this.
April 5, 2012
A great b&w Hollywood chiller. This film was in many ways ahead of it`s time.
Super Reviewer
½ April 1, 2012
Noticeably less eventful than one might expect, but by no means boring, with an unsurprising ending. The cinematography, however, is almost to die for.
March 23, 2012
Great thriller. Dorothy McGuire rules the screen as the deaf/mute maid. You'll love this film.
March 15, 2012
Holy over rated. There are very little people who have harsh words for Spiral Staircase so I was thinking that I was in for something very special. Im not saying it's bad but I was very underwelmed & in the process kinda bored. This is one of the movies that on a whole isn't really all that interesting (maybe because it feels really dated) so in turn you are looking for the little things to try to have salvage. Since nobody in the cast (w/ probably the exception of Elsa Lanchester who likes her brandy) causes you to raise an eyebrow you start to watching this in technical aspects & things that don't really mean a whole fuck of a lot. In the end Im saying to myself, 'oh that's some nice shadow work'..'oop nothing good can be behind that door'...'nice eye!'. I was really searching. Not awful but there are hundreds better from the era
½ March 12, 2012
This title has aged when it comes to suspense but remains fascinating as a filmic piece of Barrymore history and retains merit for its intriguing shots and close-ups.
February 10, 2012
As a fan of horror, classic & cult films this is a must see.
½ January 8, 2012
Interesting to watch.
January 7, 2012
The Spiral Staircase is an effective, classic thriller with perfect atmosphere. The film maintains a brisk pace up until the final moments when the mysterious killer is revealed. The strength of The Spiral Staircase lies in its simplicity. There are no convoluted twists or reveals, just straight-forward, efficient storytelling.
January 5, 2012
Some very imaginative cinematography and one or two tense sequences make this worth a look.
½ November 5, 2011
One could say that it's part film noir and part horror but one thing is for sure, this is one exquisitely made suspenseful film. Dorothy McGuire's performance as a servant who is mute, due to a traumatic childhood experience, was Oscar worthy. Unfortunately the only person who got an Oscar nomination was Ethel Barrymore as the matron of the household McGuire's character serves in. The stark b&w cinematography is superb and Robert Siodmak's direction is a thing of beauty. His talent of holding the suspense as long as he does was so great. The noirish elements are a lot more subtle than your typical film noir. Highly recommended viewing for these cold, rainy nights. Really couldn't have picked a better night watch it. 9/10
½ October 19, 2011
Estupendo film de suspense que facilmente Hitchcock lo pudo dirigir, sencilla y de unas tomas interesantes.
½ October 11, 2011
An American Gothic film (with a big house full of serial murder suspects), about mercy killing, Social Darwinism, with a very good opening that isn't at all sustained, except perhaps for a couple of later touches (the wedding fantasy, the phone call).
September 4, 2011
You can't help but compare it to Hitchcock, but sometimes that's totally okay.
August 22, 2011
The Spiral Staircase is an effective, classic thriller with perfect atmosphere. The film maintains a brisk pace up until the final moments when the mysterious killer is revealed. The strength of The Spiral Staircase lies in its simplicity. There are no convoluted twists or reveals, just straight-forward, efficient storytelling.
½ August 18, 2011
Great early horror movie! Helen (McGuire) is a woman with a horrible disability-- she cant talk. All is well, until a line of serial killings happens-- but everything is more suspicious when the killer only preys on women with disabilities. Helen begins to grow worried when working as a maid at Mrs. Warrens (Barrymore) mansion, but when Mrs. Warren continues to tell her that shes in danger. But when the killer is finally revealed, Helen fears for her life. Seeing "The Killers" previously and not loving it, I was nervous to see Robert Siodmak film. But the experience was great! The gothic vibe gives this movie such an eerie feeling you literally get goose bumps-- and to make things more interesting, the whole scenario takes place on a stormy night-- an example of horror movies to come. The actors are wonderful, especially McGuire (being able to work with such little material, she only says one line in the movie) and Barrymore, the dying old woman who rules the mansion. The beautiful black and white cinematography adds to the experience-- and does the well done photography work. If youre looking for a dark and dreary movie, dont be afraid to watch "The Spiral Staircase", or you will really be missing out on a treat.
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