Customer Reviews


26 Reviews
5 star:
 (16)
4 star:
 (9)
3 star:    (0)
2 star:
 (1)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


51 of 54 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Better than Bride of Frankenstein?
With an all star cast,this film directed by James Whale who later went on to direct Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein is,on one hand typical of a genre that was already becoming a cliche thanks to earlier films such as The Cat and the Canary in the early 1930s when it was released,but on the other hand represents probably the finest of it's kind with genuine chills...
Published on 20 July 2004 by C. Hughes

versus
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
i missed subtitles in either English or scandinavian
Published 5 months ago by Henrik Machholm


Most Helpful First | Newest First

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beware The Night., 19 May 2011
By 
Spike Owen "John Rouse Merriott Chard" (Birmingham, England.) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Old Dark House [1932] [DVD] (DVD)
As a violent storm rages, five travellers in a remote part of Wales take refuge at a creepy looking mansion that's home to the "odd" Femm family......

Weird, exciting and positively funny haunted house film with a top cast that's directed by one of Horror's greatest directors, James Whale. Based loosely around J.B. Priestley's novel "Benighted", the piece is further boosted by excellent camera work from Arthur Edeson and a screenplay that positively zips with memorable moments. Upon release in America the film was poorly received, yet unsurprisingly given it's British dryness, it was well liked in Britain. Even spawning an imitation in the form of The Ghoul, with both Boris Karloff and the irrepressible Ernest Thesiger again starring.

The Old Dark House got a reissue in the late 30s after the Horror genre had been reinvigorated by the likes of King Kong, but sadly it fell off the radar once the rights had reverted to Priestley. The film then appeared to be lost for many many years until Curtis Harrington (director of such TV Horror fare like Killer Bees) found a print in the archives in 1968, and thankfully got the funding to have the film restored and preserved. Thus now, and as far from perfect as the print is, the piece can be enjoyed by anyone with a bent for such a unique blend of Horror & Comedy.

You have to be prepared for its kooky nature to truly enjoy the experience, but all being well The Old Dark House will continue to garner new fans with each passing year. The supreme director and marvellous cast deserve that at least. 8/10
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great film based on the novel Benighted by J, 10 Sep 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Old Dark House [1932] [DVD] (DVD)
A great film based on the novel Benighted by J. B. Priestley. A group of travellers seek refuge from a storm in rural Wales and the first person they come up against is an alcoholic mute butler played by Boris Karloff. The cast includes Charles Laughton and Melvyn Douglas. Sounds wonderful and it is.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Old Dark House, 12 Feb 2014
By 
T. Cosens (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Old Dark House [1932] [DVD] (DVD)
Darkly comic and beautifully made, this creaky old house story still has the ability to send a shiver down the spine. A story about a couple breaking down and seeking refuge in an old dark house these days is a well worn premise. Here it still feels fresh and you will be swept up bythe macabre and wonderfully creepy characters you encounter.

Exactly what is upstairs haunts the entire story and when it is finally revealed, enough tension has been built for it to genuinly spook you. If you like the Universal monster films and especially James Whales' output this is a real treat.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "It was a dark and stormy night." - Edward Bulwer-Lytton, 31 July 2013
By 
bernie "xyzzy" (Arlington, Texas) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
Yes I know you've heard this one before, however this is pretty much the original dark and stormy night. A married couple Phil and Margaret Waverton (Raymond Massey and Gloria Stuart), and their friend Penderel (Melvin Douglas) are caught out on the road. There is an avalanche behind them in a lake in front of them and have no choice but to seek shelter in the old dark house. The residents seem a little strange but accommodate the strangers with one proviso; no beds. Later they are joined by another stranded couple and send the secrets of the old dark house start to unfold.

This is a fun movie on many levels. Based on the novel "Benighted" by J.B. Priestly, Benn W. Levy wrote the screen play. Practically everybody that was anybody before they were anybody is in this play. I won't go through the whole list of actors however one that most people take note of is Boris Karloff. The DVD extra includes "Rescuing A Classic: Curtis Harrington (a film director)
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Karloff!, 26 Jan 2012
This review is from: The Old Dark House [1932] [DVD] (DVD)
James Whale is on top form here, directing this classic piece of macabre comedy. It's a film that brings together the best elements of atmospheric horror while not taking itself too seriously. Boris Karloff is brilliant as the butler! Well worth adding to your collection if you are a fan of the old black & white horrors.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vintage horror, 29 Oct 2009
By 
J. H. Allen (Norfolk, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Old Dark House [1932] [DVD] (DVD)
Good story,plot new at the time but used too often since then, based on a novel by J.B. Priestley. Mainly English actors, a young Laughton and a classic Karloff, witty, the Ernest Thesiger character is a gem. J.H. Allen
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Gladys Perkins and the Nuts, 29 Sep 2014
This review is from: The Old Dark House [1932] [DVD] (DVD)
From Whale's great creative period with some great characters but atypical in that there's no monster as such and more scary than any of the monster pictures because dealing with a deliciously weird bunch of nuts hilariously yet chillingly. Muscular script and atmospherically excellent throughout with no fat apart from, perhaps, the bit of romance surrounding Melvyn Douglas. Blueprint for intermittent remakes or pastiches for half a century or more (I guess they're still making them), but there's nothing quite like the four Femms and Morgan! Turn out the lights and prepare to be spooked for 70 minutes.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brooding, dark and effective., 3 Aug 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is for the Kino on Video edition DVD, muilti-region US import. The video and sound have been digitally restored and the quality of the transfer is excellent. The DVD comes with a number of extras. There are two channels of optional audio commentary either with Gloria Stuart (who played the glamorous blonde character Mrs Margaret Waverton) or that of James Curtis, biographer of the film's director James Whale. There is also an interview with fellow director Curtis Harrison who saved the original film print from oblivion in the 1960s plus a gallery of production stills accompanied by a superb soundtrack of thunder and eerie background music.

The film is based on the 1927 novel 'Benighted', by JB Priestley, the classic 'old dark house' story of psychological terror. The story begins with Philip (Raymond Massey) and Margaret Waverton (Gloria Stuart) and their friend Roger Penderel (Melvyn Douglas) driving through the mountains of Wales when a torrential storm forces them to seek shelter for the night. They take refuge in an ancient crumbling mansion inhabited by the strange and sinister Femm family: skeletal Horace Femm (Ernest Thesiger), his religiously obsessive sister Rebecca (Eva Moore) and their brutish servant Morgan (Boris Karloff). They are joined shortly afterwards by Sir William Porterhouse (Charles Laughton) and his partner Gladys (Lillian Bond). Determined to make the best of the circumstances, the travellers eat, drink and talk to pass the time while the storm rages outside. But as the night progresses and the storms increases, tensions rise and dangerous and unexpected secrets emerge. On the top floor of the house are two locked doors; behind one of them lies the mysterious 102 year old Sir Roderick Femm (Elspeth Dudgeon - yes played by a woman) and behind another lurks an unspeakable terror, later revealed to be the utterly mad Saul Femm, played to maximum effect by Brember Wills.

The film has become a byword for its effective portrayal of the archetypal ‘creepy house’ yet it is interspersed with humorous interludes, the best of which is the potato scene at dinner. There are numerous memorable moments: the slow opening of the front door to reveal Morgan the butler in all his animalistic form; the holding of the carving knife and fork by Horace Femm in response to the goading of his malevolent sister Rebecca, the hand on the bannister which we initially think belongs to Morgan but in fact does not and which remains in the background as the scene is played out; and perhaps most of all, the brief but utterly terrifying close up as Saul Femm's face changes from seemingly pathetic and vulnerable old man to evil scheming homicidal pyromaniac.

So well are the characters developed that Charles Laughton, who usually acts everybody out of sight, actually comes across as a fairly conservative if bluff character. It is difficult to imagine how, if this film were to be remade today, they would improve upon the cast. Brooding, dark and effective, this film is a must see for anyone who is into old black and white horror flicks.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Always entertaining fun, 16 Feb 2010
By 
M. Read (Bournemouth, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Old Dark House [1932] [DVD] (DVD)
I have always wanted to see this film but was put off buying a DVD as those available were usually described as being of poor quality. I now realise that unless some better copy of the film is lurking somewhere, this is the best we will get. It's an entertaining picture, not all that horrific for present tastes, but well written and full of humour.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Creaks and Croaks with the best, 3 Mar 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Old Dark House [1932] [DVD] (DVD)
Whale, Laughton and surprisingly low key Karloff, but fine performances from the cast that includes the future Homonculi producer from Bride of Frankenstein and a plummy discussion track from Kim Newman - all round entertainment for the old sicko' in the family
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

The Old Dark House [1932] [DVD]
The Old Dark House [1932] [DVD] by James Whale (DVD - 2006)
£14.99
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews