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The Spiral Staircase [DVD] 
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This superb Hitchcockian thriller shocked critics and audiences on its initial release. With superb performances from the cast (Dorothy McGuire in particular); a wonderfully eerie gothic mansion and a chilling atmosphere of fear and suspense, it is easy to see why the film stands as one of the classic tales of terror.
Helen Capel (DOROTHY McGUIRE) is a beautiful young girl who has not uttered a word since childhood. She works as a servant for old, ailing Mrs. Warren (ETHEL BARRYMORE), in the Warren family mansion. When a sinister spate of murders involving 'women with afflictions' hits the neighbourhood, Helen believes she's the next victim. One night, a storm breaks and Helen realises the killer is in the house with her. Unable to scream for help, what can she do to save herself? And just who is the psychotic killer?
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A serial killer is on the loose in a quiet English town, praying on people who are disabled in some way. This alarms Helen Capel (beautifully played by Dorothy McGuire) who hasn't spoken since a childhood trauma. She fears that she is the killer's next victim. The ailing Mrs. Warren (Ethel Barrymore), the lady she Helen looks after, presides from her bed over a very usual household. In the house are her stepson Professor Warren (George Brent), her troublesome son Steven (Gordon Oliver), the Professor's sectary, and three other servants. All of the characters are interesting in their own right, and portrayed well by the impressive cast of real acting talent. Another star of the film is the old mansion itself - it looks fantastic!
'The Spiral Staircase' was a joy to watch, a refreshing treat on a dark, rainy night, and further proof that the oldies are quite often the best. I think it's long overdue a reboot, and can highly recommend it to anybody with a love of old spooky films. If you like Alfred Hitchcock's movies - then this is certainly one for you to invest in.
The DVD's bonus features include fairly good re-write ups on all the actors, what they appeared in before 'The Spiral Staircase', and what they did afterwards.
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