Its classic Gothic style augments its high-concept plot, making it a film that feels both in the Golden Age as much as it does in the modern. The character development more serves the plot than the story, but at only 82 minutes, Mendez keeps the story simple (too simple, to be honest) and the plot twisting and turning. The emotion and thematic/metaphorical elements are thin, but it remains inventive, atmospheric fun.
MYSTERIES OF THE AFTERLIFE-the original and more accurate title for this film - threatens continually to go off the rails with bizarre plot developments. That it never does is due to the binding force of Dr. Mazali's obsessive quest and Mendez's brilliantly atmospheric direction. Shot in wondrous black and white by Victor Herrera, this genuinely eerie film is ripe for rediscovery. Essential if you love 'mad doctors.'