The Tingler


The Tingler (1959)



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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 creature, which Chapin has called the Tingler, come to life and grow. Using LSD to induce nightmares, he begins his experiment.

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Vincent Price
as Dr. Warren Chapin
Philip Coolidge
as Oliver 'Ollie' Higgins
Darryl Hickman
as David Morris
Patricia Cutts
as Isabel Stevens Chapin
Judith Evelyn
as Mrs. Higgins
Pamela Lincoln
as Lucy Stevens
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Critic Reviews for The Tingler

All Critics (17)

There's never been anything like The Tingler before or since.

Oct 29, 2018 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

Perhaps William Castle's most outrageous film, The Tingler also stands as one of his best.

Aug 28, 2018 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Well-made, and anyone with an appreciation for the fright flicks of yesteryear will certainly recognize it as a work of significant note.

Aug 20, 2018 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Could well be William Castle's masterpiece.

Oct 23, 2009 | Full Review…

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

Sep 25, 2009 | Full Review…

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.

Apr 6, 2008 | Rating: 8/10 | Full Review…

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
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
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
Luke Baldock

Super Reviewer


This cheesy fright flick from WIlliam Castle was actually better than I expected it to be, and I don't mean that in a "so bad it's good " way. Vincent Price's performance wasn't nearly as hammy as usual as a doctor studying the effects of fear on the human body. Too bad the rest of the cast were stiff as boards. The monster worm was pretty cool, and there were a couple of nice twists in the story. Or course, it also had William Castle's always over-the-top dramatics -- the first scene of the film simply headshots of people screaming. This is going to sound crazy, but it might be fun to watch this on a double bill with Michael Powell's Peeping Tom. Tom is MUCH darker and sinister, and not at all campy, but they have similar themes, and they were made around the same time. Kind of a U.S. vs. U.K. comparison.

Cindy I
Cindy I

Super Reviewer

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