The Tingler (1959)


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Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

Dr. Warren Chapin is a pathologist who regularly conducts autopsies on executed prisoners at the State prison. He has a theory that fear is the result of a creature that inhabits all of us. His theory is that the creature is suppressed by our ability to scream when fear strikes us. He gets a chance to test his theories when he meets Ollie and Martha Higgins, who own and operate a second-run movie theater. Martha is deaf and mute and if she is unable to scream, extreme fear should make the … More

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Horror, Mystery & Suspense, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By:
Written By: Robb White, Robb Shite
In Theaters:
On DVD: Sep 7, 1999
Columbia Pictures


as Dr. Warren Chapin

as Oliver 'Ollie' Higgi...

as David Morris

as Isabel Stevens Chapi...

as Mrs. Higgins

as Lucy Stevens
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for The Tingler

All Critics (17) | Top Critics (2)

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 15, 2005
New York Times
Top Critic

Could well be William Castle's masterpiece.

Full Review… | October 23, 2009
Combustible Celluloid

Like any genius pitchman, Castle straddles the line between carnival barker and conceptual artist

Full Review… | September 25, 2009

How any red-blooded American could hear 'Vincent Price's acid trip,' and not fall over themselves rushing to find a copy of the movie is beyond my comprehension.

Full Review… | April 6, 2008
Antagony & Ecstasy

The Tingler is more gimmick than movie and it lacks the level of tension and terror of other productions, but the showmanship is still a lot of fun.

Full Review… | July 29, 2007
Turner Classic Movies Online

Audience Reviews for The Tingler

I love The Tingler. It's absolutely ridiculous but yet so much fun. I think William Castle's movies work best when the story is being ridiculous. This movie is a lot of fun and even managed to spook me a little. Really enjoyable. :)

Tim Salmons

Super Reviewer

This is one of those movies that you like because they're cheesy and silly. Castle's horror films were all gimmicky, and this one is no exception, but his gimmicks are fun and sort of give his films a cult status. I like this movie.

Aj V

Super Reviewer

Scientifically sound stuff here. As most of you are aware we all have a tiny bug inside us that grows when we are scared, the only way to stop it from killing us is to scream. Screaming reduces its size. This is the wonderfully bonkers plot of The Tingler. Produced and directed by William Castle, this is a film that was made with gimmicks in mind. Castle was the kind of man to send skeletons on zip-wires and pay people to scream. It's evidenced here by an introduction by Castle. So this doesn't have the effect of the cinema, though I'm sure that was hardly terrifying itself. The film has some nice twists I didn't see coming, and Price's performance is very serious and believable. He isn't camping it up here.It takes a while to get going, but the freak-out scene had some bizarre creepy moments like a beasts arm throwing an axe. It's more interesting than it had to be, considering the gimmicks it was created for.

Luke Baldock

Super Reviewer

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