“There is nothing here but an old man and his decaying memories. I beg you to leave them in peace!”
Response to Peary’s Review:
The resulting “muddled plot” consists largely of “Nicholson try[ing] to figure out what’s going on” as he “explor[es] the dark castle” —
… but given that “there are no scares and nothing really happens until the end of the film”, the entire affair comes across as “pretty boring”. Meanwhile, Nicholson is surprisingly “lousy” in the lead role — though not nearly as bad as his then-wife (Knight), who acts as though she was instructed to literally sleep-walk through her performance.
With that said, the film as a whole isn’t nearly as much of a mess as it could have been, given that the script is actually relatively easy to follow, and it possesses numerous “ridiculous plot twists”. Plus, as Peary points out, the “photography is surprisingly good” — indeed, atmospheric cinematography and sets go a long way towards making this ultimately forgettable horror flick relatively easy to sit through.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments: