For a Hollywood film, this is a very unusual ghost story. The script is dry and witty enough to bring some laughs, but there is no trace of the self-parody we often find in the genre. The story, with several twists and turns, has a strong psychological dimension, yet the ghost is not explained away as a figment of one character's imagination. The story builds up plenty of tension, but not to set up sudden shocks that make you jump. The cast, black-and-white cinematography and direction all contribute to an atmospheric masterpiece, far more engaging and less "dated" than most films from the Forties.
The main extra on the Criterion disk, a "visual essay" by Michael Almereyda, brings a very illuminating perspective on this film (and several others), along with some fascinating insights into the lives of actors Ray Milland and Gail Russell. There's also a booklet containing a 1998 interview with director Lewis Allen and a concisely informative essay by Farran Smith Nehme. The extras remove all doubt that this is a 5-star disc -- even if you don't count the two radio-play versions of the story, both starring Ray Milland, included on it in MP3 format. Criterion excels as usual!