Is Gas Light a Scary Movie?

Gas Light is a classic psychological thriller that has been captivating audiences for over seven decades. The movie, directed by George Cukor, was released in 1944 and stars Ingrid Bergman and Charles Boyer. It tells the story of a woman who is slowly being driven insane by her manipulative husband, who is trying to convince her that she is losing her mind.

Plot Summary

The movie revolves around Paula Alquist (played by Ingrid Bergman), a young woman who returns to London after the murder of her aunt, who had raised her since childhood. She moves into the house that once belonged to her aunt, where she falls in love with and marries Gregory Anton (played by Charles Boyer), a charming pianist.

However, soon after their marriage, strange things begin to happen in the house. Paula starts hearing footsteps in the attic, gas lights dimming without reason and objects disappearing.

Is Gas Light a Scary Movie?

Gas Light is considered a classic psychological thriller because it creates an atmosphere of suspense and tension throughout the movie. The use of lighting and sound effects adds to the eerie feel of the film. However, it may not be considered as scary as some modern horror movies because it doesn’t rely on jump scares or gore.

Psychological Thriller vs Horror Movie

A psychological thriller is a subgenre of horror movies that focuses on creating an atmosphere of suspense and intrigue through character development and plot twists rather than relying on violence or gore. Gas Light fits this category perfectly as it keeps the audience on edge with its slow-burning plot.

The Use of Lighting

One of the most notable aspects of Gas Light is its use of lighting to create tension and suspense throughout the movie. The gas lights in the house flicker without reason when Gregory Anton sneaks up to the attic. This effect creates a sense of unease that adds to the overall atmosphere of the movie.

The Acting

The acting in Gas Light is top-notch, particularly by Ingrid Bergman, who delivers a powerful performance as Paula. She perfectly portrays the character’s descent into madness and keeps the audience engaged throughout the movie.


Gas Light is a classic psychological thriller that has stood the test of time. It may not be as scary as some modern horror movies, but it still manages to create an atmosphere of tension and suspense through its use of lighting, sound effects, and acting. If you’re a fan of classic movies or enjoy psychological thrillers, Gas Light is definitely worth watching.