There are Thirteen Chairs at the Table…And That’s Unlucky: Mystery of the 13th Guest (1943)

Mystery_of_the_13th_Guest

There are thirteen chairs at the table.

Yeah, and that’s unlucky.

So I found this film on Amazon Instant Watch. It was an old film with not much of synopsis, but I thought I would take a gamble and try it out. If it sucked, I could just stop and watch something else; if it rocked, then I would have a new great movie to add to my list. A win-win situation.

dean whinchester shrug smile oh well

And as 13 plays a huge role in this film, I decided to post it on October 13 at 13:13pm (1:13 civilian time). 🙂

So the film starts out with a type of dun, dun, dun music across the credits making it dramatic and bringing out shivers.

dun-dun-duuuun

shiver

How come they don’t do that anymore? Today they do a voiceover, narration, or pop song to sell the soundtrack. *Sigh* The world we live in. I miss the dramatic flair we used to have.

So a girl (Helen Parrish) is coming to a house after it being closed up for thirteen years. Not only that, but she decides to go at like 12:00 am, why not wait until daylight?

Gilmore girls creep

She asks the cab to wait for her while she goes in the house. I wouldn’t want to, but he’s nice enough to.

She uses a flashlight to check out the rooms, when she notices a phone. A phone?

Mysteryofthe13thGuestPhone

Weird. Why would there be a phone in a house that’s been closed for thirteen years? And who would do it?

Sounds suspicious

Sounds suspicious

Unfortunately, the phone switchboard operator can’t give out that information. As the girl continues to walk around the house, she decides to try the lights and guess what? They work too.

Gilmore girls creep

Someone has been in the house. Someone has opened it up. But who? Who would do that? And why?!

weird

The girl doesn’t really think on it, as she has other things on her mind. She remembers the last dinner that was held here, thirteen years ago. In it she was given an envelope and asked to wait until her 21st birthday to open. That’s why she is here at 12:00am.

As she goes into the room she looks at the table and remembers where everyone was sitting.

Mysteryofthe13thGuestPhone

Grandpa was at the center, with her next to him, then Mr. Barksdale, Uncle Adam, Aunt Lucille, Uncle John, Harold, Aunt Martha, Tom, Marjory, Uncle Wayne, Aunt Joan, and the 13th guest…. The thirteen chair was empty.

hmmm...I wonder why?

hmmm…I wonder why?

Grandpa is sick and dying. He knows it is his last party and that most of the people at the table want him dead. He gives an envelope to Marie, the girl who is remembering, telling her not to open it until her 21st birthday, forcing everyone to wait until then.

Mysteryofthe13thGuest13years

Kind of harsh grandpa, but it is his money so he can do whatever he wants with it. In fact no one knows what is in the envelope, not even the lawyer. And now the time has finally come. She can open it.

Suspense have to know

So she opens it and the paper says:

13-13-13

whatsthedeal

What’s this supposed to be? A safety deposit box number? Code to a safe? Thanks a lot grandpa.

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As she is looking at the  note, there is some creaking in the house. There is someone inside!!!!

Marie goes to make a phone call, leaving the room. Then we hear a gunshot and a scream!

AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The taxi driver is freaked out and takes off. He goes to the nearest phone and calls the cops. They head over, with Lead Detective Lt. Burke and his constantly asleep partner “Speed” Dugan. And seriously, he is always falling asleep.

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He doesn’t seem to be a good detective at all. He should try another profession.

Meanwhile, whilst all that is going on, Uncle Adam has decided that the opening of the will, will bring out the worst in the family. He’s afraid that one of the remaining seven possible inheritors will try something, maybe even hurt Marie as she holds some kind of clue with that envelope.

Her in this case

Them in this case

He asks Private Investigator Johnny Smith (Dick Purcell) to get on the case and protect Marie.

Instantly I think, it will be one of those mysteries.

Mmhm great gatsby

It’s going to be one of those mysteries where the P.I. and girl will meet and he will fall for her and try to protect her. She’ll be as tough as nails, while still a damsel in distress.

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But in the end he will help her and she will fall for him. 🙂

MeanGirls I know right!

In the next scene the police detectives have come on the scene and discover Marie’s dead body.

Say What

Yes, dead body.

Whattheheck

NO, no, no, no, no, no, no ,no, no. She can’t be dead. She’s not dead, they must be mistaken. She has to end up with the P.I.

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The P.I. comes in and explains he was hired to protect the girl, and the detective tells him too bad, you are too late. She’s dead.

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You can’t do that! You can’t go around switching things!!!! There’s a formula to this!!!!!!!!

Randy Scream

Sorry, back on track. Well…I guess…I guess they did kill her off. Weird, it’s like they pulled a Psycho before Psycho even came out. Weird. I thought Alfred Hitchcock was the first to do something like that.

rebeccaitwasallalie

Childhood broken.

Why

So it’s odd that she is in the chair instead if by the phone, were we, the viewer, last saw her. That means only one thing, this killer, whoever they are, purposely moved her to the table to send a message by placing her at the table. But what message?

themysteryofthe13thguest

So 13 has a lot of fears surrounding it. There is the superstition of “13 at Dinner”, the first to get up will die. Friday the 13th is supposed to be full of bad luck, and there is no 13th floor on most hotels and office buildings. A coven of witches was made of 13 people. There were 13 steps to the gallows.

So the doctor examines the body and is unsure how she died. His best guess, until he can really examine her, is that she died of electrocution.

ouch Hermione

The detectives haven’t figured out how they did it, but know there must be a conductor around here somewhere.

When the phone rings the detective goes to answer, but they are hung up on. While the phone company is tracing the call, one of the detectives reports that the lightbulbs in the room are all burned out, reaffirming that electrocution was what killed the girl and what is causing these issues.

You know what that means. Someones coming after you.

You know what that means. Bad things.

It turns out that the phone call was from the Lowry Hotel. Lt. Burke sends out his lazy or narcoleptic detective. But he can’t leave. Why? Someone stole their squad car.

stupidestThingeverheard

Why would you steal a squad car? Do you want to go to jsil?

So they put out an APB on the car and also grab the rest of the Morgan family.

They question Marie’s cousin Tom, and her brother Harold, [aka Bud]. They discover that Marie’s 21st birthday was the day before, and that’s why she opened up the house so late. They ask about where everyone was laid out, and the police find out that not only was there a missing guest, but that the killer placed Marie in the exact spot where she had been sitting on the night if the last dinner.

They ask them for a diagram to be better understand where everyone was sitting.

mysteryofthe13thguest

By now, they have figured out the caller was John Barksdale, the lawyer. He also was the one who had the phone plugged in and the lights turned on. He left the hotel at 1:00am and hasn’t been seen since.

Back at the mansion, Speed is on duty and has, you guessed it, fallen asleep.

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This makes it easy for John Barksdale to sneak into the house.

Somewhere in the house a shadow looms.

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Barksdale heads straight to the library, and starts moving books around.

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As he does this, we see in a secret room the shadow turns out to be a masked man.

Mysteryofthe13thGuest

He makes the phone ring and when Barskdale touches the phone,

batmanBamSmackKaboom

Electrocuted!

Who is this masked person? Is it Uncle Wayne, Uncle Adam, Tom, or Harold?

WhoDoneItMystery?

 When Speed hears the noise in the house he takes off. The detectives return to the mansion where they find Barksdale dead, and seated in his place at the table.

Mysteryofthe13thGuest

 Johnny Smith is the only smart detective in this film, and he figures out that the killer is killing them off in the order they were seated at the table. That means that it has to be one of the original guests as how could anyone else know where they were.

But which one?

But which one?

But that’s not the biggest surprise of the day, Marie is alive!!!

Say What

YES! Marie is ALIVE. And guess who had it all figured out? Johnny Smith. He noticed scarring on the dead girl’s face, and suspected that she wasn’t really Marie but made to look like her. But who is behind it? And where has Marie been the whole time?

It turns out that Marie heard the scream and gunshot, and hid upstairs. When she thought it was safe she came out and saw herself, dead!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

She freaked out, stole the police car, and has been hiding out, afraid for her life. Lt. Burke finds it fishy, Johnny Smith however, believes her wholeheartedly, and is also extremely attracted to her.

howyoudoingfriendsjoey

They put her in a room as they discuss what this all means. She decides to sneak out to the library to call her brother.

NOOOO! Don’t do it Marie, it’s the DEATH PHONE!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

The music starts building!!!!!

AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

But luckily, Johnny steps in and stops her. Good thing as the man in the mask was watching her and was going to kill her.

They round everyone up and put them in a room together. They talk about who the killer might be, with Marie saying she thinks it is Uncle Adam. I don’t know if she is serious or not, but that is way harsh.

Johnny warns Adam that the murderer is killing people in the order they sat at the table, so Adam better watch out as he is next.

Spoke too soon

So all of Marie’s relatives suck. None of them care about her, espechially Marjorie. The only one who seems happy to see her is her brother Harold.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow what

They are pretty horrible: bitter, brash, barbs flying all over, etc. Johnny Smith has had enough, and has them all arrested.

How can he do that? He’s not a cop? Whatever!

Johnny and the cops head back to the mansion where they find another dead body.

Victim #14 &15

It turns out to be Uncle Wayne. He showed up late as he came from California. It looks like the killer left the phone electrocution device on. They still haven’t found the machinery, so it must be in a secret room. That clinches it, it must be one of the orginal party people. But which one?

whatdoyouthinkTwilightzoneRealmartianpleasestandup

They decide to release them all, and tail them.

Johnny Smith calls Marie and warns her not to share what was in the note, as someone is trying to kill for that information. And what does she do right after? Tell Harold and Tom that it was 13-13-13.

Tom-Hanks-Saying-Really

Come on, didn’t you just listen to what he said!

Every time!

Marjory spots her tail right away as Speed is no good at all. He ends up failing asleep in a cab heading to Atlantic City.

loser

The plastic surgeon hears of the story in the news, and comes down. They ask him if the man matches Barksdale’s appearance, but it turns out to not be him. They all head over to see Marie, but it turns out she isn’t there. She had received a message to go to the mansion to meet Johnny Smith. But Johnny Smith didn’t write any message.

Spoke too soon

This tends to happen in mysteries/thrillers/horror film/books a lot. I guess moral is to always double check that you are supposed to meet with that person.

As they are heading out to the mansion, the plastic surgeon sees a photo of Tom, and recognizes him as the man who brought the woman in.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow what

They all hurry to save Marie! They meet up with Tom at the mansion and it turns out he and Barksdale were in it together, in order to steal the fortune away. But, he claims to not be the killer. Hmm…

whatdoyouthinkTwilightzoneRealmartianpleasestandup

While Marie is trying to figure out where Johnny is, the masked man attacks her from behind, trying to bring her down the cellar in the second room.

Tuesdaythe17th scream ah

Luckily, Johnny and the police make it in time. They tear the library wall apart, and follow the masked man, taking him out and saving Marie.

And the masked man is……………………………………………………………………………………………………………

come on

Uncle Adam

Yep, his kindly all I want to help my niece was a lie. He wanted her dead, and everyone else, so he could have all the money.

And it turned out Marie knew it all along and so did Johnny Smith.

It turns out that the Grandpa left all his money to Marie. He thought the best way to protect Marie was to make everyone wait 13 years.  His thinking was that everyone would die or not care about who got the money after all that time. Oh the irony, as by doing that and making them wait, he did that he built up so much resentment that he almost caused her to be murdered.

the irony iron

And in the end Johnny and Marie get together. I KNEW IT!!!!!! Faith restored.

dean whinchester shrug smile oh well

So you might have noticed, they don’t solve the mystery of the 13th guest. This film is actually a remake of a 1930s film, which is based on a book. I’ll have to get a copy of those to see if they answer it.

The best of my knowledge the 13th guest is A) left empty because of the superstition that the first of 13 to rise will die within a year; B) the 13th guest is the devious side of Uncle Adam, or C) the 13th guest is a red herring.

Whether they solve the “mystery of the 13th guest” or not, this was a good film.

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1943Mysteryofthe13thGuest

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To start Horrorfest IV from the beginning, go to You Cannot Conquer It. It Has Conquered You!: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931)

For the previous post, go to Gypsy Justice: Thinner (1996)

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For more on the mystery side, go to A Haunting We Will Go: The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew Mysteries (1977)

For more films based on books, go to That Place…There’s Queer Things Goes On There: Jamaica Inn (1939

For more remakes done well, go to Beast or Man: The Wolfman (2010)

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In other news, this is my 600th post. Yay!

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This time, it only took me five months instead of six to reach that. Wow!

For my 500th post, go to Fantom of the Opera

For the 400th post, go to The After Party

 

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What Have We Done to Each Other?: Gone Girl (2014)

2014 Gone Girl

What are you thinking? What are you feeling? What have we done to each other? What will we do?

So I am just stating here and now that I will not reveal the end of this movie. It is a great piece of work, with an amazing twist that you must see or read (the book) for yourself. Since it is still out in theaters I do not want to ruin anything for the potential viewer. That being said:

DeanSupernaturalLetsGetStarted

So the book this film is based on came out in 2012 and I was really intrigued by it. I added it to my to-read list and planned on getting around to it. But you readers know how that is.

diewithbooks

So yeah, I hadn’t gotten around to it. However, that all changed this summer. I told you in a previous post that I journeyed out to Wyoming for an internship. There wasn’t a lot to do in the town, and the other interns and I mostly hung out on the weekends. We talked about what there was to do, which was mostly reading or netflixing. (I don’t have netflix so I Amazon Instant Watch or putlocker things). Anyways, one of the interns, Gwen, hadn’t brought anything with her and was asking about where to purchase books. I had brought my kindle and was fine (until it broke). I told her the library was out as I had found out to get a card I would have to pay $20.

outrageous

Then I remembered! There was a bookstore in town called “The Newstand“. But shortly after we arrived it went out of business.

Tom-Hanks-Saying-Really

Yep. I think the only place left in town you could to get books were the Walgreens or the Walmart. They had two thrift stores in town, one was only clothes, the other furniture. It was very different from anyplace I’d lived before.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow

Anyways, so one week Gwen starts talking about this book she just bought (I don’t know where. Now that I think about it, I’m not sure I ever asked her.) She told us it was Gone Girl. Immediately I was intrigued as I had really wanted to borrow it. I asked for the book and finished it in one day. It was that good.

Can'tputbookdownAnother Chapter

The book is a mystery/suspense/horror. The way it is told is really interesting as it goes back and forth between the present and the past. In the present Nick Dunne’s is trying to figure out and cope with his wife Amy’s disappearance. The past is revealed to us through Amy’s journal, as she details the everything prior to her disappearance. It was an interesting book as it has the same unsettling qualities as Catcher in the Rye or Alias Grace. In Catcher in the Rye, the main character, Holden Caulfield, admits to the reader that he is a liar, leaving one unsure of what in the book is real, and what is a child’s fantasy. Margaret Atwood, author of Alias Grace, does a similar thing in her novel. There are no quotations marks put around the dialogue, leaving the reader very uncertain as to what was said and what was only in the character’s minds. Just like Holden,  Grace Marks leaves us wondering if she is really telling the truth?

Carnival of Souls Don;y know real

Gone Girl isn’t exactly written that way, but it does have some similarities. With Nick, he is described as being somewhat of an a***hole (his word not mine) and having a face that makes himself always look as if he is lying. He is too good looking and charming that you don’t want to trust him (the characters joke that his chin causes you to not trust him.) As you read his accounts you start wondering if there is more than he is telling the reader. You feel as if he is hiding something from you, even though it is told in first person. It makes you wonder what is he hiding? What are his secrets?

Suspense have to know

And then you have Amy. Everything we hear is from what she wrote in a journal. But is it the truth? After all a journal is where you release your emotions. Sometimes you exaggerate or write things down that you would never do, just because it helps destress you. As I mentioned before it is a release. Besides that you don’t write everything down in a journal. After all, that is a lot of work. Most of the time you write down the things that made you upset or happy; never giving the whole picture but a moment. Just a moment. It’s selective in memory. So that begs the question: how much of it can we take as fact? How much is fiction?

Carnival of Souls Don;y know real

So one day I was at the movie theater watching Expendables III. The film finished and I contemplated sneaking in to see another film, but unfortunately the theater I was at was very small (four screens) and the ticket seller and I had had an actual conversation, so he would remember me. Along with that, my “California-ness” showed very strongly as everyone told that I looked very “different” from Wyoming girls.

Yeah I don't understand it either

Yeah I don’t understand it either

So instead I called a cab for a ride home and waited around until it came. As I was waiting, I started watching the screen that showed trailers for upcoming films. I saw one for The Equalizer, but it didn’t really strike me as a “must-see”. After that the trailer for Gone Girl came up.

OMG

I didn’t even know that they were turning the book into a film!!! Fantastic!!! Then I saw the cast list. As you know from an earlier post, I love Ben Affleck. I knew he would be a perfect Nick. Rosamund Pike was great as Jane in Pride and Prejudice (2005) and I was interested to see how she would do this role. I thought Neil Patrick Harris was a great choice as Amy’s ex, as everything I have ever seen him in he has conquered. The only thing I was unsure about was Tyler Perry. But to be honest, any time I see him not playing Madea, it’s a little strange. Anyways, I became excited for the film and couldn’t wait to see it.

excited

And as I mentioned before it was pretty incredible.

Take note Hollywood

Take note Hollywood

What was great about the film was that they followed the book pretty consistently. There are a few changes, but not enough to make you want to string up the director by his thumbs. On a whole the changes didn’t really hurt the film at all. I thought it was amazing how they handled the flashbacks, narrations, and journal entries. I would definitely read the book along with the movie as it has more detail and little things that can’t transfer over to film. I do give one warning though. If you want to be surprised DO NOT READ THE BOOK. The book has this amazing twist, about halfway through, and a killer end. It was a great shock when you read it, but not so much the second time encountering it on the screen. I mean you already know it, so while the rest of the audience is oohing and ahhing over it, you’re just chilling there thinking, knew it.

dean whinchester shrug smile oh well

So if you truly, truly want to be surprised. I would wait to read the book until after seeing the film.

So I’m just going to do a partial review, as I really, really don’t want to spoil too much for anybody.

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Nick Dunne

Nick Dunne Gone Girl Lost Confused

It is the day of the Dunne’s five-year anniversary. And Nick is not very happy.

Darcy P&P OMG Can't Even

You see life hasn’t been a bed of roses for the Dunnes. Nick is from a little town; North Carthage, Missouri. He went to college and moved to New York, and began writing for a magazine. He met Amy at a party and the two later married…but bliss did not last long. He lost his job due to downsizing as the economy tanked. His father is crazy and in a home where he constantly escapes from. And his mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. Immediately, hearing the news of his mother, he and Amy move back to his hometown much to her displeasure.

Now the relationship was already strained, but after moving to Missouri it becomes much worse. Amy is a New Yorker born and bred and doesn’t do well with places that are not New York.

That particular morning, Nick heads over to the bar that he bought with his twin sister Margot, and the two contemplate what would be a good anniversary present. 5 years is wood, “and there’s nothing good from that.” When Nick heads home, he receives the biggest shock of his life.

What!

His house is a mess and his wife is missing.

OMG

He can’t find her and doesn’t know where she might be. He calls the police and later, her parents. They team up and begin commercials, signs, news reports, trying to find Amy. Ben Affleck did an amazing job at this role.

ben-affleck-and-rosamund-pike-in-gone-girl-new-york-film-festival-2014-gone-girl-review missing girl

But some people don’t think that he’s quite so innocent. Some suspect he might have killed her. Things become espechially sticky when they discover the broken in area was staged, and a lot of blood was spilled and then cleaned up afterwards. Did he have something to do with his wife’s disappearance? Did he kill her? Is he innocent? If he is innocent, than what happened to her? Where can she be?

Suspense have to know

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Amy Dunne

gone-girl-amy Dunne Rosamund Pike

We are first introduced to Amy through her journal. Amy is the daughter of authors. Her parents wrote the best-selling series called Amazing Amy. Their main character is perfect and excels at every hobby. Especially things that Amy has failed at. Amy resents the books, but they have made her famous and a major spot in the limelight.

hot pretty sexy

Amy is beautiful, charming, witty, etc. The “perfect” woman.

DDontHateme cause beautiful boy meets world

She writes personality quizzes for magazines for a living. I know some of you out there might think that’s a bit strange, but let’s face it…she has a major trust fund. She meets Nick at a “writer” party one night, and after that the two are hooked. They get married and have a few great years, but things start going downhill once Nick loses his job. He becomes someone that she doesn’t know.

Carnival of Souls Don;y know real

She hates Missouri. Nick thrives, but it makes her feel like she is choking. Then things in the marriage start to get even worse…Or does it? Is Nick really as cruel as Amy paints him? Or are the writings in the journal just the exaggerations of an unhappy, displaced person?

What!

Did Amy leave by her own choice? Or was she taken by force? But most importantly, where is Amy?

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The supporting characters are just as great as Affleck and Pike. Carrie Coon is perfect as Margot as she is really able to capture twin sister needling brother, and being supremely protective of him. Kim Dickens is an amazing Detective Rhonda Boney, the homicide officer assigned to the case. She seems all midwestern, laid-back, easygoing, charm; but she has a real brain in her head and is highly observant. Neil Patrick Harris steals scenes, as he plays Desi Collings, Amy’s ex and possible kidnapper. And then we have Tyler Perry, rounding out the cast as Tanner Bolt. I never would have picked him for the part as he is radically different, but he does a great job as being one of those shark lawyers after the big-name cases.

dean whinchester shrug smile oh well

And is has an awesome twist that I will not reveal as you all should definitely watch/read for yourself.

Where is Amy? What Happened to Her? Visit Your Local Theater to Find Out.

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To start Horrorfest III from the beginning, go to Even a Man Pure of Heart

For the previous post, go to There’s Nothing Out There. Nothing in the Mist

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For more on Ben Affleck, go to What is This Thing?

For more on films based on books, go to You’re Gonna Need a Bigger Boat

For more twist endings, go to Don’t F*** With the Original

For more book-filled posts, go to I Was Here For A Moment. And Then I Was Gone

For more of my favorite quotes, go to Part X: The Movie List That Would Not Die