#388 — The Amazing Mr. X (1948)
Director: Bernard Vorhaus
I didn’t really know much about this one going into it. It’s part of my “50 Horror Classics” collection, and the information on the sleeve didn’t tell me much. It said something about a woman who thought she was hearing her dead husband’s voice. That could lead to a lot of different things, so I just wasn’t sure. I pretty much chose it randomly. As the credits started rolling, I got optimistic when I saw that Crane Wilbur was one of the writers. He directed The Bat, which I really liked, so I was hopeful. However, this isn’t much of a horror movie. IMDB classifies it as thriller, and that makes more sense; even though it’s not that thrilling.
A woman named Christine, whose husband died two years previous, was hearing the voice of her dead husband. This seemed to be brought on by her recent engagement to Martin. Her sister, Janet, was positive that Christine felt guilty about betraying her husband (she still very much loved him), and that she was imagining these things. But Christine was sure that Paul, her husband, had come to haunt her because he didn’t want her to re-marry.
Christine met a mysterious man named Alexis on the beach. He seemed to know an awful lot about her, and he claimed to be a psychic. She brushed him off for a while, until these “hauntings” became too much to bear. Finally, she decided to go and see him. She began seeing him regularly, and Janet and Martin were not happy about it.
They called on a detective who had worked with Alexis, and they were all certain that he was a phony. Martin an Janet set out to prove this theory. Janet became transfixed by Alexis, and she too began to believe in him. She destroyed the evidence that could have brought him down. He was, indeed, a phony. But there was more to the story: things that even Alexis didn’t know.
I can’t really say much more without spoiling things. But, really, there wasn’t that much more to it. What there was, I didn’t fully understand. It’s not a bad movie. The idea is interesting, and it gives us a villain possibly worse than the ghost of a dead husband. However, it was incredibly slow and not exciting at all. It was dreadfully boring. The most interesting part was seeing how Alexis tricked his clients into believing they were witnessing a true spiritual contact. There wasn’t much else to remember.