Watch The Face at the Window
- 1 hr 10 min
The Face at the Window is a 1939 British horror film directed by George King and starring Tod Slaughter, John Warwick, and Aubrey Mallalieu. The movie is set in Victorian London and centers around a series of murders committed by a mysterious figure known only as 'The Wolf'. The movie opens with a prologue in which a group of men are discussing the legend of 'The Wolf' â a fabled creature said to roam the streets of London at night, preying on innocent victims. The men debate whether the legend is true or just a myth, with some arguing that it's just a story told to scare children.
The story then introduces us to a group of wealthy aristocrats led by Sir James Frampton (John Warwick), who are holding a meeting in their luxurious club. They discuss the recent spate of murders that have been taking place in the city, and the possibility that 'The Wolf' may actually exist.
At the same time, a young woman named Flora (June Dawson) is being stalked by a mysterious figure in a top hat and cloak. She seeks the help of her lover, Paul (Harvey Braban), who is a member of the club. However, Paul is more concerned with preserving his reputation among the elitist group than helping Flora.
Meanwhile, Sir James has hired a new servant, John (Tod Slaughter), to work at his mansion. John is a creepy and sinister figure, and it's not long before it becomes clear that he has some connection to 'The Wolf'. He is also constantly eyeing Sir James' teenage daughter, Alice (Gwen Watford), in a disturbing way.
As the murders continue, it becomes clear that 'The Wolf' is someone close to Sir James and his circle of friends. Suspicion falls on John, but he manages to worm his way out of trouble each time. It's up to Paul and Flora to try and unmask 'The Wolf' before it's too late.
The Face at the Window is a classic example of the melodramatic horror films that were popular in the UK in the 1930s and 40s. The film is full of the kind of creaky sets, exaggerated acting, and over-the-top dialogue that defines the genre. Slaughter, in particular, is a hammy delight as the creepy butler who may or may not be 'The Wolf'.
The film also has a wonderfully Gothic atmosphere, with its fog-shrouded streets, shadowy alleyways, and imposing mansions. The use of lighting and shadows adds to the overall creepy vibe, and there are some genuinely suspenseful moments.
However, the film is let down by its pacing. While the murder scenes are suitably gruesome for the time, there is a lot of dialogue-heavy exposition in between that drags things down. Also, the film's ending feels rushed and unsatisfying, with a twist that seems more like a lazy cop-out than a clever revelation.
Despite its flaws, The Face at the Window is an entertaining slice of British horror history. It's not as well-known as some of the other films from the era, but if you're a fan of the genre, it's worth checking out.
The Face at the Window is a 1940 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 10 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 5.9.