The Old Dark House - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Old Dark House Reviews

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½ July 25, 2013
It's a classic horror tale, the apotheosis of all "Old House" spooky films.
July 5, 2013
A chilling yet comedic romp from the 1930s starring a mute Boris Karloff... 4/5
½ June 29, 2013
I found this one watchable and while I know that it sort of inspired its own genre of films that followed, I wasn't overly blown away with this one on the whole.

Worth a look as an educational piece, but I don't know how often I might come back to it.
June 23, 2013
This is creepy movie that is perfect to watch in dark because how the movies looks and feels about an old dark house
May 15, 2013
The overall arc of this romantic comedy is fairly predictable but during it's progress there is adequate humour and even an element of profoundness. Keir Gilchrist is not the most convincing of leads but as the straight man to the more talented members of the cast he serves his purpose.
May 13, 2013
So horrible. I can't believe that so many critics could rate it so high. I like old films, but this was dreadfully boring.
½ April 25, 2013
What an odd and amusing little film.
Super Reviewer
½ February 22, 2013
Its got a hulking Boris Karloff, a shouting Charles Laughton, and a sassy Melvyn Douglas . . . what's not to like? It feels a bit rushed and perhaps there is some wasted potential but I enjoyed it all the same.
½ February 17, 2013
Atmospheric and moody as any old horror flick should be. The protagonist's dailogue and "comedy" need work, but overall a good creepy early talkie.
February 11, 2013
'The Old Dark House' is an old-school creeper, a kind of a movie today's generations need to have more of. Forget CGI, nudity and cat scares, this is how you make a horror film.
January 22, 2013
Incredibly dull film which moves from the first two passable acts to a genuinely entertaining finale. While lots of the humor still works today, it is not enough to make this a film to recommend. But the last twenty minutes are definitely worth checking out just for the utter absurdity of it all.
January 18, 2013
A spooky haunted house mystery with some nice character actors and a solid final act.
November 12, 2012
Likely my favorite of Whale's films - a damn near perfect blend of grotesque humor and horror. The ensemble cast is perfect, and if Ernest Thesiger overshadows top billed Karloff, that's not so unforgivable.
½ November 1, 2012
Boris Karloff considered this a waste of his talents and he may well have been correct. A somewhat over rated feature...
½ October 31, 2012
Looking for a fright film to watch tonight? You might try "The Old Dark House" from 1932 and directed by James Whale. This is a great film with all kinds of things going for it. It's atmospheric in spades and creepy to be sure (especially a distorting faces montage sequence done with mirrors - a bit ahead of its time, I daresay), but it actually has more touches of humour than outright horror. Much more than the loose narrative, the film is really about the development of its quirky collection of characters, thrown together on a dreadfully stormy night in the Welsh mountains in an 'old dark house', and their stage-like byplay and repartee - the fun ranges from the dour bible-thumping half-deaf sister chastising her family for being atheists to an amusing after-dinner conversation on the merits versus unworthiness of "money-making", i.e. capitalism. And what a cast! Boris Karloff (doesn't really do much, but what the hell), Melvyn Douglas (love his character), Charles Laughton (great as always), Lilian Bond (perfect as the chorus girl looking for something more), Ernest Thesiger (really 'the straw that stirs the drink' here, indispensible to the proceedings - of course, he, along with Karloff, soon after showed up in Whale's landmark "The Bride of Frankenstein" as the memorable Doctor Pretorious and during the course of the proceedings a slyly fun nod is given to his "Dark House" character here and his inclination for gin), Eva Moore (the aforementioned sister), Raymond Massey (every ensemble needs a stiff like him - think Leslie Howard), Gloria Stuart (glamorous). And if you like your fright films to be nice and tight, you get tight here - it clocks in at only 72 minutes long.
October 29, 2012
Great, spooky, old fashioned haunted house thriller about a group of people trapped in a fierce storm while traveling through the English countryside and forced to take refuge in an old mansion populated by a very strange family. Directed by the legendary James Whale (Frankenstein) and starring genre greats Boris Karloff, Charles Laughton and Raymon Massey, House is a charming and spooky fun time the likes of which they don't make anymore. A great stormy night movie. Old Dark House was originally part of the famous Universal horror films series but, Uni sold the rights for an awful remake in the 60s. The film languished in limbo till rescued by fans and released on DVD.
EXTRA TRIVIA: The wife of Massey's Philip is played by Gloria Stuart, the same Gloria Stuart who played Kate Winslet's character as an old woman in the hit film Titanic!
October 25, 2012
Early creepy Karloff flick. Great atmosphere and performances. If you like this kind of thing, you'll love this film.
½ October 23, 2012
Cinematically it's worth a three, but it's so funny to watch because of how bad it can be at times, that it's enjoyably bad. Some of the characters are so funny in their dialogue.
½ October 12, 2012
What a strange movie. High on gothic atmosphere. There is also a shockingly realistic fight scene that ends with an intense tumble down some stairs.
½ October 8, 2012
The Old Dark House is great spooky fun!
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