The Undying Monster is a well-crafted variation of the 'Wolf Man' films which combines a supernatural family curse into a murder mystery plot-line. The story is rather on-par with many of the B movies of the time period, but is without question elevated by the direction and cinematography. Early on the film builds a nice atmosphere between the wide shot compositions of the old, creepy mansion to the shadow soaked lighting, which help to establish this form of isolation and foreboding doom. While this is definitely not on the same level as some of John Brahm's other films like Hangover Square, The Lodger, or Guest in the House, this film showcases Brahms ability to really use sound and visuals to create tension and mood. Whether it's the camera movements in the beginning of the film which are perfectly succint with the tolling of a clock or the scene in front of a fire place where smoke distorts the entire image, Brahm was really underrated as a visual filmmaker, and having Lucien Ballard as your cinematographer for this film obviously doesn't hurt either. The other interesting aspect about The Undying Monster is this dissection of the supernatural world vs. an old fashioned murder mystery in which the film plays the viewers perception but it's not a centeral theme of the story. In the end, John Brahm's The Undying Monster is a solid if unspectacular film that is elevated by Brahm and Ballard, who showcase their visual chops.
Love of all things cinema brought me here.