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Article #420 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing date: 5-9-2002
Posting date: 10-2-2002

This is the third of the Inner Sanctum series that I've covered. Based on a novel by Fritz Lieber, it hones a lot closer to real supernatural horror than do the other movies in the series, and there's not a single hypnosis subplot to be found. It even manages to approach some of that Val Lewton ambiguity of I WALKED WITH A ZOMBIE. Unfortunately, it falls somewhat short of that movie, with a script that gets awfully silly at times, particularly during the native dance sequence that looks like it belongs in a nightclub; in fact, this kind of scene is rarely effective because they always look carefully choreographed rather than spontaneously and passionately religious. At least the story is fairly good this time; another version of the story would be made several years later as BURN, WITCH, BURN. Lon Chaney Jr. is on hand, as well as Evelyn Ankers (in a rare villain role), Anne Gwynne, Ralph Morgan, and Lewton regular Elisabeth Russell.

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