The Old Dark House (1932) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Old Dark House (1932)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Frankenstein director James Whale turned J.B. Priestley's novel "Benighted" into a nerve-jangling tale (originally released in 1932) that became the template for all spooky-house chillers to come. Stranded travelers stumble upon a strange old house, and find themselves at the mercy of a highly eccentric and potentially dangerous family. This atmospheric thriller features an unforgettable post-Frankenstein horror role for Boris Karloff, as the hulking, disfigured butler Morgan. Also starring in early-career roles are Melvin Douglas, Charles Laughton, Raymond Massey and Gloria Stuart of Titanic.

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Melvyn Douglas
as Roger Penderell
Charles Laughton
as Sir William Porterhouse
Gloria Stuart
as Margaret Waverton
Lillian Bond
as Gladys DuCane
Lilian Bond
as Gladys DuCane
Ernest Thesiger
as Horace Femm
Eva Moore
as Rebecca Femm
Raymond Massey
as Philip Waverton
Brember Wills
as Saul Femm
Elspeth Dudgeon
as Sir Roderick Femm
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Critic Reviews for The Old Dark House

All Critics (10) | Top Critics (1)

Whale wrings potent suspense out of venturing into the shadows, and his technique still impresses ...

October 4, 2017 | Full Review…

Watching it, the viewer will discover that the likes of The Cabin in the Woods, The Evil Dead, and more all had their start half a century before.

April 24, 2018 | Rating: 8/10 | Full Review…

Once the film has picked up pace it rattles along nicely.

April 24, 2018 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…

Grandly entertaining.

November 2, 2017 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

It's a classic horror tale, the apotheosis of all "Old House" spooky films.

October 26, 2006 | Rating: A+ | Full Review…

A great creeeeepy horror classic.

October 5, 2006 | Rating: 4/5

Audience Reviews for The Old Dark House

Ah yes, nothing like an old school black and white spooky mansion film. Going back to basics in other words, this is more of a character driven film, with fast and snappy dialogues, very dialogue driven indeed. Thanks to the cast of actors like Melvyn Douglas and Charles Laughton, as well as some truly great character actors, the movie doesn't really needs big spooks to keep you engaged.

Tsubaki Sanjuro
Tsubaki Sanjuro

Super Reviewer


This movie had great atmosphere, interesting characters and a seemingly scary plot, but unfortunately the ending is predictable and not at all scary.

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer

It may be considered the lost Universal Horror classic, but it's mediocre, at best.

Tim Salmons
Tim Salmons

Super Reviewer

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