Scared to Death

Watch Scared to Death

  • Approved
  • 1947
  • 1 hr 5 min
  • 4.1  (1,777)

Scared to Death is a classic horror movie from 1946, directed by Christy Cabanne and starring Bela Lugosi, George Zucco, and Molly Lamont. The movie is known for its innovative use of first-person narration, which is delivered by the character who is already dead in the opening scene. This technique creates an eerie and suspenseful atmosphere that sets the tone for the rest of the film.

The plot revolves around a young woman named Laura Van Ee (Molly Lamont), who is brought to Dr. Joseph Van Ee's (George Zucco) sanitarium by her husband, Ward Van Dorn (Roland Varno). Laura has reportedly been murdered with poison, and her body has been found in a box in the basement of the sanitarium. However, Laura's narration reveals that she is not quite dead yet and that the events leading up to her supposed murder are far from straightforward.

The suspicion immediately falls on Laura's husband, who is revealed to have been having an affair with one of Joseph's nurses, Nancy (Joyce Compton). Ward had also wanted to get rid of Laura's inheritance, which would have gone to charity if she died childless. However, the investigation takes a new turn when the enigmatic Dr. Silas Reed (Bela Lugosi) arrives on the scene. Reed is a hypnotist who claims to have evidence that Laura's death was not caused by poison but by fear, specifically fear of the color yellow.

As the investigation progresses, Laura's narrative reveals more and more about the events leading up to her apparent murder. She had been haunted by strange visions of a mysterious figure in a yellow mask, and had developed an irrational fear of the color yellow. The figure had appeared to her on several occasions, and she even saw it in her dreams. The police investigate the possibility that Laura might have been hallucinating or suffering from a mental illness, but Dr. Reed insists that her fears were real.

The tension in the movie builds as Laura's narration becomes more and more urgent. She becomes convinced that the figure in the yellow mask is responsible for her death and is still lurking in the sanitarium. Meanwhile, the police become increasingly suspicious of Dr. Reed, who seems to have his own agenda. With its twists and turns, Scared to Death keeps the audience guessing right up to its chilling conclusion.

One of the most striking aspects of Scared to Death is its use of color in a genre that was still mostly black and white at the time. The movie features striking sequences in which the color yellow is highlighted, making it seem almost sinister. These scenes are particularly effective in creating a sense of unease and uncertainty, as the audience is left to wonder if Laura's fear is justified or if it is all in her mind.

Another aspect of the movie that sets it apart from many horror films of the time is its structure. The use of first-person narration is an innovative technique that creates a sense of intimacy between the audience and the characters. The fact that Laura is already dead in the opening scene adds to the suspense of the movie, as the audience is left to wonder how her story will unfold.

Scared to Death is a classic piece of horror cinema that is well worth watching for fans of the genre. The movie is a testament to the talent of actors such as Bela Lugosi and George Zucco, who bring a sense of gravitas and menace to their roles. The use of color and first-person narration make the movie stand out as a unique and innovative take on the traditional horror tropes of the time. Whether you're a fan of classic horror films or just looking for a spooky movie to watch, Scared to Death is sure to send shivers down your spine.

Scared to Death is a 1947 horror movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 5 minutes. It has received mostly poor reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 4.1.

Scared to Death
Where to Watch Scared to Death
Scared to Death is available to watch free on Crackle, Plex and Tubi TV. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Amazon Prime, Apple TV Channels, FuboTV and Amazon. Some platforms allow you to rent Scared to Death for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 5 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    4.1  (1,777)