De spooktrein (1939)

Plot Overview

A group of people are forced to stay the night at a train station which is apparently haunted after their trip is delayed and they miss the last train.

Review

I was a little worried about this film because it was a comedy, but you get a feel for the film immediately and thankfully, it was quite welcoming. It begins in a silly/screwball fashion, with a shot of each character and a line introducing them; there’s the high-strung Miss Borneman, Professor Alberto, the magician and his clumsy assistant, Corrie, newlyweds Mieke and Eddy, the good-humoured Ted and the neurologist, Dr Looman.

Miss Borneman and her parrot try to settle down in a carriage with Ted, but he is smoking a pipe which she doesn’t appreciate. She tries to find another carriage but cannot find a suitable one and she returns – only to have Ted throw her parrot out the window. They stop the train while she goes and looks for it; causing them to miss the last train at their stopover.

The stationmaster tells them they can’t stay and warns them that the station is haunted because of an accident 20 years earlier. The group insist on staying as there is a storm outside and no other transport around. The stationmaster reluctantly agrees and leaves. They try to amuse themselves, but strange things begin happening.

It’s not really a horror film; more like a comedy film with horror characteristics. The humour is quite silly, but harmless and likable. It’s hard to judge acting when I don’t speak the language, but it seemed to be good enough and I thought they all portrayed their characters well – although it’s only a short film, they all got to have a go and do their thing – and made for an enjoyable ensemble.

Summary

It was an entertaining little film and I liked it, but I didn’t really feel any aspect was strong enough for me to really love it. It was just ‘nice’. It’s only 60 minutes, so fans of old horror/comedy should check it out; it’s sort of along the lines of The Dark Old House (1932) and Mystery of the Wax Museum (1933), though I liked them a little more.

Rating: 6/10

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