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Horror - Dr. Renault's Secret - Fox Horror Classics Vol. 2


Dr. Renault's Secret
Fox Horror Classics Vol. 2
J. Caroll Naish, Lynne Roberts, John Shepherd
Directed by Harry Lachman
Black and white
20th Century Fox 1942
Fox Home Video 2008
58 minutes

For many scary movie fans Dr. Renault's Secret is probably the centerpiece of this horror DVD box set from Fox. Dr. Renault's Secret has long been, well, a well kept secret but it is now available along with Dragonwyck starring Vincent Price and Bela Lugosi's Chandy the Magician. You really want to avoid reading synopsis on the DVD cover as it reveals much too much of the movie.

Dr. Renault's Secret is your good old low-budget mad scientist creature feature though it is not scary at all. This movie is set up as a mystery and is an interesting take on what is human nature.

American doctor Forbes arrives in a quaint little French village on a very rainy night and walks into the Black Cat Inn. We learn he is in town to marry the beautiful niece of the local scientist, Dr. Renault. Waiting there to bring him to the Renault home is the very strange Noel, Renault's assistant.  On Forbes' first night at the Inn someone is murdered.

Strange things happen the next day. The viewer also learns what Dr. Renault's secret is. There is a very Frankenstein, the book, scene here that is rather interesting.

One of the extra features on the Dr. Renault's Secret DVD reveals this mystery horror film was made by Fox's B unit and was meant to be the opening act for a major release on a double bill. This opening act however stands on its own.

Fox Horror Classics Vol. 2 is a good deal for those who like the early movies in this genre. 20th Century Fox may not have been as good at scary movies as Universal was but the studio did produce some good ones.

Special Features include an interesting featurette on the movie, a restoration comparison bit, the original trailer and photo galleries.

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