Secret Beyond the Door - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Secret Beyond the Door Reviews

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½ December 13, 2014
seriously that is a CREEPY hobby
December 3, 2014
No wonder I feel it so Rebecca, Suspicion and Spellbound-alike. The Freudian analysis is not much impressive and the mental motivation is not at all interesting.
September 30, 2014
A interesting film that has it's strengths but really fails to pull you in for the third & final act.

The story of a woman strangely drawn to this mysterious but undeniably dangerous gentleman she meets on her travels abroad.

Filled with strange & psychoanalytical performances the story can hide it's many holes.

However is has some stunning shots with near perfection lighting, so the look of the film is top notch.
December 25, 2013
A woman falls in love with a stranger, marries him and moves into his home, where she discovers his peruliar collection that has him reserving a wing of his mansion to reproductions of rooms of famous murders. Interesting and downright creepy concept though the execution is not as original. Lang's filmmaking style is still evident, particularly in some nightmarish sequences, but perhaps the film has more interest in developing its themes than characters or plot in a convincing and entertaining way.
½ October 26, 2013
Obviously, Lang did not suck at directing. But this. . .this just falls apart. There is some very good tension, but it's all wasted on a nonsensical climax, followed by a brief epilogue that feels horribly tacked on.
January 3, 2013
It's overwrought with its Freudianism but it's stunning visually.
½ December 29, 2012
A good psychological thriller.
rubystevens
Super Reviewer
December 4, 2012
definitely the weakest of the lang/bennett films but the very weird plot makes it worth watching. however the ending is a total copout
½ April 7, 2012
STRANGE, WEIRDLY, INVENTIVE THRILLER
½ January 1, 2012
wonderfully hokey freudian mush
December 29, 2011
Absorbing - if ultimately rather silly - psychological thriller from Fritz Lang. Joan Bennett and Michael Redgrave are both strong in the lead roles, and it's always a pleasure to see the excellent Anne Revere in any movie.
½ December 28, 2011
Similar to Rebecca or Suspicion, here Fritz Lang gives a freudian approximation to the style of woman who is afraid of her husband. Although the photography from Fritz Lang is always excellent, the film is not one of the best of his career, and does not maintain the tension during all it length.
November 11, 2011
Fourth and last of Lang's string of Joan Bennett noirs, with our lady marrying mysterious Michael Redgrave and finding his obsession with murder quite peculiar. Not Lang's best American film, but the photography by master Stanley Cortez keeps things looking great.
½ June 18, 2011
Hygglig thriller av Fritz Lang med kvasipsykologi värdig en giallo.
June 6, 2011
There some great things about this film, and some not so great. Lang does a pretty good job of building suspense, although cheaply through the use of overly dramatic music and a ridiculous amount of smoke. Joan Bennett has a fabulous voice that is used to good effect here. There are quite a few lines that were supposed to be profound when the film was released, but are now just silly and a tad stupid.

The biggest problem with this film is the explanation of why Mark wants to kill Celia. She reminds him of a childhood trauma that his mother inflicted on him, which was, wait for it...she locked him in his bedroom when he was ten for a few hours, which clearly means he has harboured feeling of deep loathing for his mother ever since. Turns out it wasn't even his mother who locked him in, but his sister. This whole explanation as well as the thinly veiled hits dropped by the psychoanalyst during a tour of the murder rooms makes it so unbelievably implausible that the fairly strong opening is undermined.
May 29, 2011
I have seen this and would like to know where I can find it for sale.
½ April 1, 2011
Bizarre proponent of Hollywood's Gothic cycle, of which Hitchcock's "Rebecca" is the prime example, and also the main inspiration for director Lang to make this film.

Unlike "Rebecca" this film lacks rationale or even a plot that makes sense, but its odd mixture of chick flick, thriller, Freudian study, philosophical work, and above all, its excellent cinematography, give it an eerie vibe which far transcends the merits of the film on its own.

In short: it shouldn't be any good, but by a stroke of luck and/or genius, it bloody well works.
March 17, 2011
Film a suspense qui doit certainement beaucoup a Hitchcock et au mythe de Barbe Bleu. Une belle mise en scene avec style et service d'acteurs impecables.
½ February 15, 2011
OK, I'm giving this Fritz Lang 1947 pic an extra half a star just for its weirdness. The whole thing is like a murky dream with Joan Bennett's mumbled voiceover murmuring over everything. She (nor we) can't quite understand what is going on in Michael Redgrave's head -- he recreates "murder rooms" in his house for fun! What drama there is revolves around the family relationships that inevitably reveal (yes, in Freudian style) what is beyond the "door" (both literal and figurative). Then, release.
November 2, 2010
Fritz Lang's stately noir vision opens in a thick dream pond and ensues to the skillfully rich Mexican knife fight, where the female lead catches the apprehension of death and longing. Her suitor is a sophisticated scion with a hankering for symmetry. They marry in a cathedral immersed in shadows. Awaiting in the husband's residence are a repressive sister, a gnomish son, and the remembrance of a departed wife, together with the recognition that the "felicitous rooms" assembled by Redgrave are in fact extravagant reproductions of crime scenes. The seventh hall is locked.

Lang's intimate breakdown of the Rebecca story visualizes Mrs. Danvers as a saturnine secretary using warped pretenses to guarantee continual employment, not to mention Lang's painstaking surrealism---circle of candles around a wishing well, brick wall behind a velvet curtain---is to the advantage of an dream-like conflict between female and male delusions. The bride's daydream is an hacienda honeymoon with trembling blades, the groom's is a post-modern oration before judge and jury---"You can't try a man for his thoughts!"---both are at the pity of a world floating between the deterministic and the arcane. A work of doorways and passages, facades and shrouds and people unexpectedly too diminutive for the spaces and images they find themselves drifting into.

The opening in Mexico is packed with circular architecture and images: We first see the Mexican church through a semi-circular archway. The wishing well is first seen as a ring of candles. It unites two of Lang's classic images: circles and fire. The wedding ceremony has an important circular wedding ring. Next we see a round fountain. The lovers on the hammock are seen through a semi-circular arch. A pet bird is on a circular ring. A balcony has curves, its railing full of domed ringlets. We also see the heroine on the hammock, against the backdrop of a round portico. After the heroine goes up to her bedroom, the circular imagery essentially ceases. When she runs downstairs in fright, the architecture is principally rectilinear. In the transitory finale, the couple return to Mexico. The heroine has a blanket teeming with circles.

As soon as the film alters its issue to the husband's psychological troubles, the circles vanish. In their place, we see the heroine moving through an elongated rectilinear hallway in the Mexican hotel, searching for her husband. Later at the mansion, there will be several more rectilinear corridor shots. These will often be tense, overflowing with shadows or at night. The rooms have triangular or oblique imagery. Bennett makes circular light when she inspects.

A character gently submits some Freudian shtick at a house party. Soon, a psychology student will earnestly rationalize psychoanalysis, and says it could cure the acute emotional tribulations illustrated by the murders associated with the rooms. The film does wind up giving rather pat Freudian justifications of violence. Controlling mothers and big sisters are seen as the sources of male brutality. This can be regarded as underestimating this issue, and pardoning men of the guilt.

But as a fan of Fritz Lang, film noir and German Expressionism, I was interested less in the soapy plot than the unusually sweeping use of not only the low-key black-and-white moodiness but madly idealistic, geometrically bizarre sets, in company with patterns painted on walls and floors to denote lights, shadows, and objects, doused with symbolism. As in all of his films, Lang's sets and the transparency of their silhouettes form a metaphysics of structural design, which occasionally speaks volumes but is constantly ominous, and meant to illustrate the bare, exposed and elemental core of things.
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