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Morella (1999) Movie Poster
  •  USA  •    •  88m  •    •  Directed by: James Glenn Dudelson.  •  Starring: Lisa Blair, Lisa Darr, Nicholas Guest, Khrystyne Haje, Angela Jones, David Kirkwood, Robert Lipton, Lou Rawls, Darlene Vogel.  •  Music by: Chris Anderson, Carl Schurtz.
      In the early 21st century, a genetics lab has been destroyed in a fire seriously injuring a scientist and possibly killing his daughter. As two investigators begin to unravel the story of the lab and its experiments, they discover that the scientist may have started the fire himself with the intention of killing his own daughter. The journals of the scientist and of the lab's founder, Dr. Patricia Morella, tell the tale of genetics experiments going badly awry.


The story of Morella is not one of Edgar Allen Poe's better known works, but it lacks nothing of the poetic spine-tingling terror that Poe was famous for. This version of the story, however, is silly and pretentious. I suspect that the makers of this film intended it to be "arty", but the result is actually more confusing and annoying.

I have never much been impressed with Nicholas Guest's acting ability, but I have to say that I was impressed with the English accent that he effected for this role (although I probably shouldn't be as his father was a member of the British House of Lords there by making him half English). His normal voice is not too dissimilar from his brother Christopher's, but the change he makes somehow alters him so that he is not recognizable. I had to push the button on the remote several times to verify via the on-screen channel guide that it was actually him.

Everyone else in this film seems very one dimensional including Angela Jones as Morella who hams it up so annoyingly that you almost want to slap her. Her acting range is limited to the number of different ways that one can be overtly seductive on screen. The chemistry between her and Guest is almost nonexistant there by making his character's claim that her character is the love of his life not ring very true.

On top of all this, the director decided to shoot this film with minimal lighting. While one can suppose that he means to make it more "spooky" or "mysterious" that way, all he really succeeds in doing is making it more difficult to see most of the sets and some of the actors.

I think it is probably a good thing Poe is already dead because this film would finish him for sure.

Review by suessis from the Internet Movie Database.