Shock (1946)

Genres - Thriller  |   Sub-Genres - Psychological Thriller  |   Release Date - Jan 10, 1946 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 70 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Craig Butler

Shock is a mid-level thriller that, while never approaching greatness, is certainly entertaining enough. One part "suspenser," one part psychological thriller and one part film noir, Shock doesn't totally satisfy whatever genre it's put in, but it's hard not to get caught up in the very mechanical twists and turns of its plot. Hard, but not impossible -- those who demand logic and believability will throw their hands up at a number of the blatant manipulations that screenwriter Eugene Ling engages in. But director Arnold L. Werker seems to be having so much fun with this little cat-and-mouser that many viewers will overlook the deficiencies in the screenplay. Besides, there are a number of moments -- such as the early dream sequence -- that work much too well, and the tension as the film nears its climax is very effective. Too, Shock has the wonderful Vincent Price turning in a delicious, yet not hammy, performance. It's early in Price's career, and he hasn't turned to the blatant (if enjoyable) scenery chewing that some of his later roles brought out in him; his work here is careful and thought out, even when he goes for an extreme moment. All in all, Shock is an undemanding, lurid little flick that's more fun than it really should be.