A series of horrific murders is traced to a creature that inhabits a very strange house.
Gig Young ... Mike Kelton
Carol Lynley ... Susannah Kelton / Sarah
Oliver Reed ... Ethan
Flora Robson ... Aunt Agatha
William Devlin ... Zebulon Whateley
Bernard Kay ... Tait
Judith Arthy ... Emma
Robert Cawdron ... Luther Whateley
Celia Hewitt ... Aunt Sarah
Ingrid Bower ... Village Girl
Anita Anderson ... Susannah as a Child
Charles Lloyd Pack ... Bargee
Up to about the late 1970's, 'The Shuttered Room' was staple late-night stock on BBC 1 and ITV, usually on a Friday or Saturday night. Then, for some reason it has never shown again to date in this country, at least to my knowledge that is.
From memory (it is a long time ago, so forgive me, for any inaccuracies!)the movie(based on a story by HP Lovecraft) is supposed to be set in a small and isolated New England fishing village (it's really shot Cornwall in England) and concerns a young well-heeled woman (Carol Lynley), returning to her roots from a posh life in the big city, with her new husband (Gig Young), fter inheriting a (supposedly) abandoned and creepy old millhouse, that she used to live in as a child. Within that house, at the very top, hidden from normal view, is a heavily locked/bolted/nailed/chained mysterious room, that within contains a dreadful, appalling secret!!!
Back to the village, which appears to contain a lot of backward old yokels/hicks putting on dodgy American regional accents - as Lynley and Young appear to be the only actual American actors in it! Also there, lurks a gang of country bumpkinish uneducated thugs, led by a young and smouldering Oliver Reed. Reed and his cronies take an immediate and intense sexual interest in Lynley, and dislike to the monied, well-dressed, big car driving city boy Young.
Without spoiling the main plot (as one day, hopefully, the movie may be shown again), events progress with Lynley meeting up with her old Aunt (Aunt, I think) (Dame Flora Robson) who lives at the top of big tower, and who makes Norman Bates's mother appears sociable and outgoing! Robson is overseer and controller of what is in the shuttered room, that all too soon, the overly inquisitive Carol, will discover to her and everybody else's cost!
The climax to the film, is genuinely terrifying (well it was when I was 12!) and involves the nasty Reed and his cronies, pursuing Gig Young in a thrilling drive-you-off-the-road car chase, through Cornish country lanes, as he races back to try to get to Carol.
The actual end of the film centres on........on..... well, I can't tell you that now can I???
Suffice to say, many may mock the quality of director David Greene's Sixites flick, as typical of the sort of low(er) budget horror shocker movies that were made in great number then. But I think 'The Shuttered Room' had/has a lot more going for it than that, and if somebody would release it to the world again, would even today, be seen by many, as a well-made, well-acted (apart from the accents!) and genuinely scary piece of work.
Creepy! This is an unfairly unappreciated and extremely effective Gothic horror flick from the late 60's. It is also one of the better attempts to bring literary mastermind H.P. Lovecraft to the screen. The acting is magnificent! Carol Lynley and Gig Young are in top form as the bewildered young couple whose arrival in the small, tranquil village seems to trigger off a series of bizarre and ultimately deadly occurences. Veteran character actress Flora Robson is genuinely affecting as the strange old lady who seems to know a great deal more than she's telling about the secret that's hidden away in THE SHUTTERED ROOM. Oliver Reed is appropriately menacing as a young roughneck. This one is a little tough to find these days. It's not readily available in video stores, and though once popular on late night television, they rarely run it on TV. But should you be so fortunate to come across it, don't pass it up!
The Shuttered Room is an entertaining, sporadically suspenseful mystery-chiller which gets great mileage from a clutch of good performances. Out the four leading characters, only Carol Lynley seems misplaced. Gig Young, Flora Robson and Oliver Reed are all spot-on, especially Reed who simply excels as a lecherous thug. The story is atmospheric and unsettling, though the solution at the end resorts to an overused "monster-in-the-closet" explanation, which actually slightly damages the whole movie.
Young plays a middle-aged smoothie who has recently wed a much younger blonde bombshell (Lynley). She is amiable enough, but has frequent panic attacks related to something or someone that scared the hell out of her when she was still a baby. Young persuades her to return to the small, isolated community of her birthplace and to re-unite with the old family, hoping that by confronting her past she will be able to find out what caused her trauma and get over it. However, it turns out to be something rather threatening....
The film is nicely paced, with few tedious moments. It is well photographed too. The film has a dated look, with fashion, music and dialogue very much of its time (though, of course, that would be hard to avoid). However, for those who prefer their horror movies with subtle chills and a spooky build-up (none of that modern Hollywood gore and special effects-wizardry) this is a worthwhile experience.
After reviewing all the comments about this movie and feeling the same as you all did watching as a young child, about the best we can do, since it is not available for viewing, is to go to the Turner Classic Movies website and request airing the movie. I did a search with Amazon, Blockbuster and Netflix and a general search as well to see if anyone had a copy and came up empty
There are 3 old abandoned houses between Beaumont and Austin, Tx that remind me of this movie every time I see them, and after passing one of them yesterday, it prompted me to search for it which took some time since I couldn't remember the title.
Hope this helps those that are looking to see the classic tale once again!