Rainy Day Séance

Séance on a Wet Afternoon

It was an afternoon and kind of wet outside. The people inside were holding a séance of some sort, probably because it was too wet to go outside.

Séance on a Wet Afternoon

Myra Savage, a discount medium in London, holds séances in her house that looks like a place you’d make person-to-person calls to the dead: drab curtains, dark rugs, plenty of closet space for spirits to hang out. Her husband Bill has to help because he can’t hold down a day job, what with him being asthmatic and wheezing germs all over the workplace.

Séance on a Wet Afternoon

Myra, who really wants to be taken seriously as a psychic, has Bill kidnap the young daughter of a rich couple. You see where this is going. Myra will use her mental “gifts” to “find” the girl and get fame and business-generating ransom/promotion out of it. Clever, though possibly illegal.

Séance on a Wet Afternoon

They put the kidnapped kid in a room designed to look like a hospital ward and make the her believe she’s under medical supervision. Somewhere during this scheme Myra gets delusions, probably relating to her own son dying at birth and whom she’s in contact with all the time via her “psychic” skills. And it looks like maybe Myra doesn’t want the kidnapped kid to be found alive. The things some people will do for money on a wet afternoon.

Séance on a Wet Afternoon

Séance on a Wet Afternoon (1964) doesn’t have real special effects like ghosts making the room glow green with ectoplasm (hard to do with a black and white movie), just brilliant lighting and mood setting using barely more than a candle. So effective is this atmosphere, it has me freaked out about using candles. Not the scented ones I use in the bathroom when I’m having personal me time, but the spooky ones in the living room next to the dried flower arrangement and old newspapers.

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