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The Haunted Castle (1921)
The Haunted Castle
Actor: Lothar Mehnert
Director: F.W. Murnau
Genres: Indie & Art House, Classics, Drama, Horror, Mystery & Suspense
UR     2009     1hr 21min

THE RESTORED AUTHORIZED EDITION — Before plumbing the depths of horror and despair with such films as Faust and The Last Laugh, Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau tested the waters with this moody drama of a storm-bound manor and the...  more »


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Movie Details

Actor: Lothar Mehnert
Director: F.W. Murnau
Genres: Indie & Art House, Classics, Drama, Horror, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Silent Films, Drama, Horror, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Kino Video
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 03/17/2009
Release Year: 2009
Run Time: 1hr 21min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 9
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

3 Star Film, 5 Star Print = 4 Star Review
Chip Kaufmann | Asheville, N.C. United States | 03/25/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)

"It is extremely rare to be able to see a silent film that looks as good as this one does much less one of this vintage (1921). The movie looks as if it were shot yesterday and that's without a ton of restoration work. Only David Shepard's 1999 release of Rudolph Valentino's COBRA (1925) looks this good under those conditions. It shows us what all silent films would have looked like if we could see them in first generation prints that have been speed corrected.

As far as the movies of Murnau are concerned, this is definitely a minor offering but that has to do with the material not the director. Murnau is honing his skills here which would burst forth in his next film, the legendary NOSFERATU (1922). The sets are elaborate with just a touch of Expressionism. The performances though are very Expressionistic and might be too much for someone unfamiliar with German silent film technique. The plot loosely reminds me of Jean Renoir's RULES OF THE GAME though not as refined.

THE HAUNTED CASTLE (not a horror film but a psychological study) is not the ideal place to start if you want to see what Murnau was capable of. Try NOSFERATU, THE LAST LAUGH, or FAUST for that but it is a great way to see how beautiful a silent film could be, even for one that's not a classic. In fact its lesser status may be why it has survived in such good shape since it wasn't popular enough for the prints to get worn out."
Very good "minor" Murnau film
Hounddawg1963 | Illinois USA | 03/30/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)

"If you are looking for a haunted house-type horror film, this isn't one of them. Its instead a murder-mystery: a murder has occurred a few years ago, several people are now assembled within a castle, most of them assume a certain one of them committed the murder. One of the group disappears, a shot rings out.....

While not on par with Murnau's more well-known films, such as Nosferatu, Faust, or The Last Laugh, this one is still worth watching. The restoration is excellent with only a few scratches here and there, and as always, Kino has done a superb job in the transfer. The special features are minimal, consisting of some passages from the original novel and a few photos of set design paintings.

If you are building a collection of Murnau films or German expressionism films (this barely qualifies as one), then you need to have a copy of this.