The Tingler

The Tingler ★★★½

a few things about THE TINGLER, no particular order:

1) It's always fun to see Vincent Price playing a mostly-sympathetic character, partly because he dials back some of the gloating he slips into a lot of his villainous parts, but he still comes off as casually weird. This film, for instance, is a textbook example of a story that works only because he's able and willing to say ridiculous things with enough casual conviction that the other characters (and the audience) can't help but go along with him while the film's rolling. We need the ghost of Vincent Price to come back and save us from Trump, is what I'm saying.

2) Also that scene where Price shoots himself up and freaks out deserves recognition

3) Castle had seen Diabolique, right? He must have. In any case, while I was enjoying the cut rate FX and the weird touches like the prologue with the faces screaming in darkness, I was not expecting that bathroom scene where the wife is killed, which has enough dreamlike power that the cheap halloween mask doesn't ruin it--and the use of the color red in the sink and the bathtub gives the thing a genuinely nightmarish power. It becomes a totallyl different film for about 30 seconds.

4) The Tingler was basically a tardigrade, right?

5) Kind of fascinating how the subplot with Price and his murderous rich wife just sort of ends.

6) Also, the fact that the villain's motivation is his frustration with the conditions of running a movie theater is cute.

7) This is one of those films where seeing it on a big screen, with a crowd, would definitely be something to bump it up a half-star or so.

8) For all its goofiness, there's something admirably sincere in the way the film's substance boils down to the importance of emotional honesty?

Jay D liked these reviews