Die Monster Die may not be a major highlight for any of its major players, but even so; this film represents an assured slice of Gothic horror and I can't find much to complain about. The film is based on the Lovecraft tale "The Colour out of Space", and follows the common Lovecraft themes of mutated life forms and mysterious central characters. The film begins to build intrigue immediately as a young British man arrives in town with the intention of visiting his fiancé's estate. None of the locals are too happy about his presence; especially when he tells them where he is going. This immediately gets the audience on the edge of their seats as the desire to find out just what has been going on at the mysterious mansion sets in. Director Daniel Haller continues to build the suspense when our central character gets to the mansion and we are introduced to Nahum Witley; a wheelchair bound father that is also none too happy about the man's presence. From there, the film builds a scintillating Gothic atmosphere, and the locked greenhouse quickly becomes the focus of our attention...
The only other film I've seen from director Daniel Haller (who worked with Roger Corman on his classic Poe Anthology) was The Dunwich Horror, which squandered its Lovecraft story thanks to some frankly boring plotting and an ending which succeeded in explaining next to nothing. Needless to say, this earlier film doesn't suffer from the same problem as there are bags of tension and intrigue, and the director doesn't hold back when it comes to letting the audience know the secret behind the central character's cagey nature. The special effects are good considering the time in which the film was made and the obvious budget constraints, and the sequence in which we finally get to see what is inside the greenhouse is a definite highlight. The film is most famous thanks to a lead performance from the great Boris Karloff, who might not massively impress in the acting stakes this time; but still manages an assured horrific performance. The ending is exciting and plays out well, and unlike The Dunwich Horror; succeeds in explaining the mystery. Overall, while this is only a modest success, it's certainly well worth seeing!
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