“One more murder may be one too many.”*
Every year at this time I wrack my brain for a good movie recommendation for Halloween. I usually come up with something, but what is there new to suggest? As I have said many times, I am no fan of horror and I do not like gratuitous violence and bloodshed. So what does that leave?
How about some good old-fashioned Sherlock Holmes?
The Hound of the Baskervilles (1939) with Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes and Nigel Bruce as Dr. Watson is hard to beat.
Holmes and Watson investigate the legend of a supernatural hound, a beast that may be stalking a young heir on the fog-shrouded moor that makes up his estate. Yes, fog-shrouded moors are a good choice for Halloween, don’t you think?
I seem to remember that The Scarlet Claw (1944) is also pretty scary.
When a gentlewoman is found dead with her throat torn out (!), the villagers blame a supernatural monster, but Sherlock Holmes, who gets drawn into the case from nearby Quebec, suspects a human murderer.
Of course, there’s always Jane Marple–and by that I mean Margaret Rutherford.
There are four of these movies, but Murder Most Foul (1964)–when Miss Marple joins a theatrical company after a blackmailer is murdered, and then several members of the troupe are also dispatched by a mysterious killer–is my favorite.
But come to think of it, Murder She Said (1961), Murder at the Gallop (1963) and Murder Ahoy (1964) are all wonderful and hilarious! One could have a wonderful night of binge-watching all four.
I have not seen it in a long time, but M (1931) with Peter Lorre, Fritz Lang’s haunting, German-language crime drama, in which the Berlin police are hunting a whistling killer of children, is a great film.
The criminal underworld is after the killer as well, since the police manhunt has put a damper on their activities. And Lorre as the creepy killer is almost sympathetic in the famous confession speech where he describes with anguish his horrible compulsion. And who does creepy better than the Germans?
Another movie I have not seen for a long time, but liked when I first saw it, is From Hell (2001). Johnny Depp stars as an opium- and absinthe-addled Scotland Yard man assigned to the Jack the Ripper case, Robbie Coltrane is his stalwart partner and Ian Holm is the creepy royal surgeon who offers his advice. I’m sure I recall gratuitous violence and bloodshed, but nothing’s perfect. And it is scary.
Well, these are just suggestions.
I may binge watch Supernatural…remember Garth from season seven?
*Miss Marple in Murder She Said (1961)