Robert Wise (1914-2005) was a very talented and versatile film director. He has directed two memorable Oscar winning films, "West Side Story" (1962) and "The Sound of Music" (1965) is the other one. This facts will make you think he was a musical's specialist; that is not so: "The Day Earth Stood Still" (1951) is a groundbreaking sci-fi film, "Helen of Troy" (1956) a rather good epic film, "I Want to Live" (1959) where Susan Hayward won her Oscar and Robert was nominated is an excellent biopic drama and so on.
Finally we arrive to this horror film from 1963, where once more, Mr. Wise shows his remarkable ability to create an excellent film with whatever raw material he received.
The storyline shows the classic "Haunted House" structure: a sinister old manor, a group of witnesses rallied by scientific leader to stay at the residence, servants who will exit the house before night and a dark story of former owners of the house.
With this rather inane story the director constructs, IMHO, a paramount horror-thriller movie. Without calling to gruesome scenes he elaborates an unnerving film based on sounds, climates, suspense, good cinematography, in charge of Davis Boulton, good acting performances and superb tempo.
The playacting is good with Julie Harris great. Special effects in charge of Tom Howard are excellent.
This horror movie will appeal to fans of the genre but to general public too!
Reviewed by Max Yofre.