I can hear what they're saying about you, Professor Morlant (Boris Karloff). I can hear them right now, from the very next room, whispering and murmuring about what has brought them here today. I mean, don't any of of them have any respect? How dare they speak about you in such a disrespectful manner! Considering you've passed away just a couple of nights ago!
But then again we know better, don't we master? We know how you swindled a special elixir from those damn pesky Arabs, and then gave it to me to administer to you, mere moments before you took your final breaths. An elixir, I might add, which has the magical ability to bring you back to life even after you've been buried in your own family crypt.
So let them speak! Go on. Let your nephew Laing (Ernest Thesiger) and your niece Betty (Dorothy Hyson) wonder why you've bequeathed them with such a token sum. Furthermore, let that Arab chap and your solicitor Broughton (Cedric Hardwicke) ponder if your re-birth is possible or not.
I don't care. And neither do you I suspect. Especially when what next transpires all gets rather physical, when you pop-up out of your tomb and say to me, 'Laing (Ernest Thesige)! Where the f*ck is my Arabian jewelry?'. As a divided family is unable to grieve - Nigel Hartley (Ralph Richardson) is promptly told to leave - a Ghoul is denied eternal life - and at the end of the day, Kaney (Kathleen Harrison) repels her attackers with a very sharp knife.
With all due respect and no offence implied, I'd say 'The Ghoul' reminded me of one of those theatrical plays you might see one your children perform in at infant school. On a purely illustrative level, of course, this is defiantly the type of movie where the quality of its footage was somewhat murmured in tone, where as some of the performances were as lively as a soggy piece of cardboard.
Now please don't get me wrong, dear reader. In no way am I trying to imply that this horror classic was a total waste of my viewing time. What I'm trying to demonstrate to you instead is what you'll be seeing if you ever decide to sit down and watch this flick.
On a more positive note though I would like to applaud the makers of this movie for being able to tell a tale despite the primitive challenges they faced. Also, as much as I wasn't too keen on the styles of some the acting, I have to admit I did love all of those scenes featuring Kathleen Harrison's character -- Kaney -- who's flirting with the Sheik made me giggle like a loon, honestly making me want to see a lot more of her on screen.
Plus, in some respect I have to say exactly the same thing about Boris's portrait in this picture. Even though his presence was a fleeting one at best -- because he only popped up at the beginning and the end of this tale -- whenever he was in view you could tell that a master was at work by the way he outclassed his fellow performers.
Now as for the actual story-line on the other hand, well, that wasn't too bad to follow in spite of the way it kind of meandered too and throw throughout its telling. From my point of view it was the type of tale you need to concentrate on if you want to understand what's happening from one scene to the next. If you blink or get distracted momentarily, please get ready to hit the 'rewind button' or else you might miss a crucial part of the plot.
Overall I'd say 'The Ghoul' is a horror classic for die-hard horror-fans and movie-buffs only. Despite it not being a very lavish or spectacular production, in essence, this was one of those films that set a standard, spread some joy, and made us film-freaks appreciate film even more.
THE RATING: A