The Old Dark House Reviews

  • Jan 16, 2019

    A cast of oddball characters and some truly laugh-out-loud moments make The Old Dark House an overlooked thriller/comedy from the 30s.

    A cast of oddball characters and some truly laugh-out-loud moments make The Old Dark House an overlooked thriller/comedy from the 30s.

  • Oct 24, 2018

    Goes in a few directions and not as succinct as some of the other universal classics. But it kept me entertained

    Goes in a few directions and not as succinct as some of the other universal classics. But it kept me entertained

  • Carlos M Super Reviewer
    Aug 03, 2018

    The humor is irregular, the tension almost nonexistent and the characters flat as they can be (some even falling in love after having just met!), and so this is amusing enough but didn't age very well, worthy only for those delightful performances by Ernest Thesiger and Eva Moore.

    The humor is irregular, the tension almost nonexistent and the characters flat as they can be (some even falling in love after having just met!), and so this is amusing enough but didn't age very well, worthy only for those delightful performances by Ernest Thesiger and Eva Moore.

  • May 16, 2018

    Whilst it is not a patch on his Frankenstein movies, this James Whale directed early horror movie has a terrific sense of style and drama. Boris Karloff is perhaps underused and fails to have the impact of his more famous horror roles but this movie did much to establish so many staples of the horror genre and you know what? It still works. For me, it is Melvin Douglas who steals the scenes he is in as the the unhinged and camp Roger Penderell who takes in a group of lost and bedraggled travellers seeing shelter on a stormy night. It is his benighted household that provides the scares and shocks but it is the genius of James Whale that elevate this schlock horror based on a tale by J.B. Priestly and makes it a stylish and influential movie that has so many scenes that are strikingly beautiful and memorable.

    Whilst it is not a patch on his Frankenstein movies, this James Whale directed early horror movie has a terrific sense of style and drama. Boris Karloff is perhaps underused and fails to have the impact of his more famous horror roles but this movie did much to establish so many staples of the horror genre and you know what? It still works. For me, it is Melvin Douglas who steals the scenes he is in as the the unhinged and camp Roger Penderell who takes in a group of lost and bedraggled travellers seeing shelter on a stormy night. It is his benighted household that provides the scares and shocks but it is the genius of James Whale that elevate this schlock horror based on a tale by J.B. Priestly and makes it a stylish and influential movie that has so many scenes that are strikingly beautiful and memorable.

  • Apr 09, 2018

    The Old Dark House is a rare misfire for great horror director James Whale which definitely has an interesting setting and concept, is well shot and very well acted across the board, but the ending is not great and the film just never made use of its setting and characters to bring an effective horror story. It also has way too much dialogue in it.

    The Old Dark House is a rare misfire for great horror director James Whale which definitely has an interesting setting and concept, is well shot and very well acted across the board, but the ending is not great and the film just never made use of its setting and characters to bring an effective horror story. It also has way too much dialogue in it.

  • Apr 02, 2018

    An undeniable classic, which is still highly watchable now, 86 years after its release, though Karloff is hardly in the film.

    An undeniable classic, which is still highly watchable now, 86 years after its release, though Karloff is hardly in the film.

  • Dec 01, 2017

    What were they all on?! James Whale and his cast seem to have smoked a lot of wacky baccy while making this almost completely bonkers early Universal comedy frightener. Raymond Massey and Gloria Stuart get lost in a terrible rainstorm and chance on a crumbling mansion occupied by a bearded mute, a deaf housekeeper and a nervous retainer who offers them potatoes. Charles Laughton drops by, offering a sneak preview of his Henry Hobson. Bizarre.

    What were they all on?! James Whale and his cast seem to have smoked a lot of wacky baccy while making this almost completely bonkers early Universal comedy frightener. Raymond Massey and Gloria Stuart get lost in a terrible rainstorm and chance on a crumbling mansion occupied by a bearded mute, a deaf housekeeper and a nervous retainer who offers them potatoes. Charles Laughton drops by, offering a sneak preview of his Henry Hobson. Bizarre.

  • Nov 06, 2017

    Absolutely love this old movie

    Absolutely love this old movie

  • Nov 02, 2017

    great "stormy night" movie - great acting, and sets -

    great "stormy night" movie - great acting, and sets -

  • Oct 31, 2017

    Wild Gothic tale of travelers shut up in the wrong roadside mansion. Each of the residents tells the truth - and withholds key information from those seeking shelter in a home with no beds to offer. With James Whale once again directing Karloff (without any intelligible lines!). Massey, Laughton & the others are all well cast. Excellent decor, lighting, & good cinematography.

    Wild Gothic tale of travelers shut up in the wrong roadside mansion. Each of the residents tells the truth - and withholds key information from those seeking shelter in a home with no beds to offer. With James Whale once again directing Karloff (without any intelligible lines!). Massey, Laughton & the others are all well cast. Excellent decor, lighting, & good cinematography.