‘Clue’ in review

The perfect mixture of comic relief and intrigue all rolled into one

More stories from Sadie Sedlmayr


Mystery. Hilarity. Intrigue.

Those are the three words that truly capture the spectacular grandeur of what this work of cinema possesses.

My advice to every “Rocky Horror Picture Show” admirer, board game enthusiast or horror-comedy fanatic is to make room on your bucket list for Jonathan Lynn’s “Clue,” because you haven’t lived until you’ve seen this classic on a big screen.

The 1985 film pays tribute to, and is the palpable epitome of, all traditional horror-comedy films. Although film critics gave the movie received mixed reviews and film reviews gave it a low rating, the film deserves much more than its initial reviews.

What makes “Clue” unlike any other horror-comedy movie is that it is the first movie to have a premise based on a board game — Cluedo or Clue. Of course, it isn’t the only film to succeed in doing this; almost three decades later came Peter Berg’s “Battleship” (2012) and Juliet Snowden’s “Ouija “ (2014).

However, let’s face the facts: This archetypal masterpiece of horror-comedy cinematography was the only one to set the pace for what was to follow soon after.

“Clue” is a laugh riot from start to finish and combines memorable performances from a stellar cast who play off each other with a fast-paced, rib-tickling and clever plot point. It has the perfect mixture of absurdity and secrecy, so much so that when you’re watching it feels like you’re being tossed into the actual board game itself as you go through the next phases of the game with the characters.

The story focuses on eight strangers — Professor Plum, Mrs. Peacock, Miss Scarlet, Colonel Mustard, Mrs. White, Mr. Green, Mr. Boddy and the butler Wadsworth (all the names of the characters in the original board game) — They are invited to a party in a Victorian Gothic mansion that you only see in movies, and what follows is a “whodunit” murder mystery that sets off a chain reaction for the suspects.

As soon as the first body is discovered, the viewer is taken on a tumultuous yet comical tailspin into lies, deceit and murder as each character’s motive is revealed.

And, thus, the plot thickens.

What follows is a cat and mouse game between each of the remaining culprits as each one suspects the other of doing the deed.

No one trusts anyone, and with the clock ticking and the police approaching, the game of Clue begins.

The story is interspersed with a lot of physical comedy, witty writing, eerie music, puns and parody. The burlesque amusement scattered throughout, as well as the sublime dialog that depicts each character impeccably, is an element of beauty that I believe every movie-lover should witness.

This film is hands down an all-time classic. It will make you laugh until you can’t anymore, cry tears of joy and smile until the bitter end.

In terms of acting, Tim Curry reigned supreme consistently throughout the film. Curry was so good I felt like he could’ve played all the parts himself if he wanted to. He was able to utilize his acting chops at every turn in the storyline and perfectly capture the vision of how I always viewed the butler to be in the game. Hence, his enactment of the character was the most authentic performance of the story.

“Clue” will be playing at 2 p.m. Friday through Sunday with an additional 7 p.m. showing Saturday at Woodland Theatre.