Sunday, March 14, 2010

A killer enters the 'Inner Sanctum'

Inner Sanctum (1949)
Starring: Charles Russell, Dale Belding, Mary Beth Hughes and Fritz Leiber
Director; Lew Landers
Rating: Five of Ten Rating

The generous (but quirky) operators and residents of a small-town boarding house invite a traveler stranded by washed-out roads to stay with them (Russell). However, as fate would have it, the man is a murderer, and the young son of the boarding house's owner (Belding) is the only person who can identify him to the police... if he realizes what he saw before the murderer kills him, too.

"Inner Sanctum" has a few truly tense moments, but overall it's pretty bland, predictable, and perfectly mediocre. The story is decent but unremarkable, and the characters populating it are one-dimensional stereotypes that are portrayed by average actors. Nothing's particularly bad in the film, but nothing's particularly laudible either.

The blandness of the story is heightened by the fact that the near-pointless framing sequence that establishes the tale as being told by a psychic (Leiber) in order to warn a young woman of impending doom is the most intriguing part of the film.

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