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"The Old Dark House" Reviews/Discussion - 2016 Horror Challenge: Day 18

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"The Old Dark House" Reviews/Discussion - 2016 Horror Challenge: Day 18

Old 09-23-16, 10:20 PM
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"The Old Dark House" Reviews/Discussion - 2016 Horror Challenge: Day 18





The Old Dark House (1932)



Selected by Mondo Kane



IMDB ENTRY

YOUTUBE

ALYXSTARR LINK

ALYXSTARR LINK W/ COMMENTARY #1

ALYXSTARR LINK W/ COMMENTARY #2

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These "October Horror Movie Challenge" threads are for the discussion of the films in the 31 FILM SUBSET list.

The plan is for everyone to watch this film on the October day in the thread title, and to start discussing it the morning of the following day.
You may start discussion early if you want, but the preferred plan is for this to be as much of a group exercise as possible, with all of us viewing it "together" and discussing after.

Of course, you are totally encouraged to participate in these threads even if you haven't watched the movie on the designated day.
Even if you haven't watched it in years, or are not participating in the Horror Challenge, please feel free to chime in.



Spoiler tags aren't always used in here, so if you have yet to see the film BEWARE OF POSSIBLE SPOILERS.
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2016 DISCUSSION | 2016 LISTS


Last edited by Chad; 11-05-16 at 06:06 PM.
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Old 10-07-16, 07:05 AM
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Re: "The Old Dark House" Reviews/Discussion - 2016 Horror Challenge: Day 18

What a charming little movie! My Netflix rating showed that I had watched it once many years ago but I had no memory of it. I probably did not appreciate it those years ago.

I have to say that the dvd by Kino has a great transfer for this film.

Is it a horror movie? A drama? A comedy? A romance? Yes, yes, yes, and yes. This movie has a little of everything and does it all very well. Some snappy fun dialogue. An awesomely huge and spooky movie set. A Karloff monster. A couple of terrific stunts and fist fights. And a spooky old man who appears to be played by a woman.

What's not to love? Sure in the beginning the actors spout their lines in that "30's movie" staccato but once you get past that, it the flow gets smoother and the acting seems to get better. The little asides that all the characters do adds to the charm (especially the residents of the household).

A lot of fun. The DVD has two commentaries on it and I may have to check those out before sending my disc back to Netflix. One commentary appears to be a historical commentary by a writer and the other is by none other than Gloria "Titanic" Stuart herself.
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Old 10-07-16, 07:23 AM
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Re: "The Old Dark House" Reviews/Discussion - 2016 Horror Challenge: Day 18

I forgot to mention the disclaimer at the top of the film which mentions Karloff as the butler/monster. It is put in there as if people don't believe that it is Karloff at the time. Anyone know the history on that?
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Old 10-18-16, 10:54 PM
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Re: "The Old Dark House" Reviews/Discussion - 2016 Horror Challenge: Day 18

I found this film to be HUGELY (or is that YUGELY these days?) enjoyable. It's been on my shelf for probably ten or so years, but I've never gotten around to watching it until tonight. There's lots to love here, but Ernest Thesiger made the movie for me; my favorite line in the film is his "It's only gin, you know. Only gin. I like gin."

And have two movie characters EVER fallen in love so quickly as did those played by Melvyn Douglas and Lillian Bond?
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Old 10-18-16, 11:03 PM
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Re: "The Old Dark House" Reviews/Discussion - 2016 Horror Challenge: Day 18

Old Dark House is a fun movie steeped in atmosphere. I think the sister, Eva Moore, was especially effective - like when she went after the girl for being fleshy. A lot of the villain characters were nicely developed. The storm intro and grand house are effectively 'gothic.' Old Dark House is a film that has benefited from it's age which only seems to add to the environment. The irony of the evil brother playing a victim was nice and menacing how he introduces himself as an expert on fire. Most casual wedding proposal ever.
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Old 10-18-16, 11:39 PM
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Re: "The Old Dark House" Reviews/Discussion - 2016 Horror Challenge: Day 18

This was probably my fifth and sixth time watching The Old Dark House, and I still don't quite know how to react to it. That is to say, I love it and cannot really articulate why considering how very bizarre it is. There are unanswered questions about character motivations. Karloff's mute menace is supposedly the horror, but then a pyromanic is revealed to be the real threat. Character motivations are never fully explained, nor are several pieces of information about the host family's past. Also, characters keep running off to be in other films. There's a romance, a dramatic tragedy, a screwball comedy, and a avant-garde film about a woman eating all of the pickled onions! Anyway, I love it so very much.
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Old 10-19-16, 01:43 PM
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Re: "The Old Dark House" Reviews/Discussion - 2016 Horror Challenge: Day 18

Have a potato!

This was the first used DVD I ever bought back in 2002 from Secondspin. It was still in the shrink wrap when I opened it last night. I've always enjoyed Lawton and I think he's great in his first American film.

The DVD has 2 commentaries, and I plan on listening to the James Curtis commentary for the checklist.
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Old 10-19-16, 03:13 PM
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Re: "The Old Dark House" Reviews/Discussion - 2016 Horror Challenge: Day 18

I found the James Curtis commentary to be dry but informative. Very similar to the Universal Monster movie commentaries. The Gloria Stuart was a little interesting at first but became dull and I abandoned it halfway through.
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Old 10-19-16, 03:29 PM
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Re: "The Old Dark House" Reviews/Discussion - 2016 Horror Challenge: Day 18

I can watch this movie every year, I enjoy it so. Yes, you can't dwell too much on the plot points and the character motivations, but it's delightful and fun.

I listened to the Curtis commentary a few years ago and enjoyed it. Dry, as has been said, but well done.
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Old 10-22-16, 09:22 PM
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Re: "The Old Dark House" Reviews/Discussion - 2016 Horror Challenge: Day 18

This one got better as it rolled along. It's so odd and different that you can't help but get drawn into it. I look forward to revisiting it again.
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Old 10-23-16, 10:30 PM
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Re: "The Old Dark House" Reviews/Discussion - 2016 Horror Challenge: Day 18

Originally Posted by wishbone View Post
This one got better as it rolled along. It's so odd and different that you can't help but get drawn into it. I look forward to revisiting it again.
I completely agree with you. It slowly drew me into it but had me hooked by the end. Some of the character actions were a little unbelievable, but sometimes you just have to go with movie logic, even if it's pretty far from reality.

I had purchased this during a Kino sale. I think this might have been one of their discs that was going out of print. I figured it might come in handy for the challenge. It's a good disc. I'm happy I bought it.
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Old 10-24-16, 09:13 AM
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Re: "The Old Dark House" Reviews/Discussion - 2016 Horror Challenge: Day 18

Loved it, and a Kino purchase is in my future.
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Old 10-27-16, 09:44 PM
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Re: "The Old Dark House" Reviews/Discussion - 2016 Horror Challenge: Day 18

Originally Posted by Spiderbite View Post
I forgot to mention the disclaimer at the top of the film which mentions Karloff as the butler/monster. It is put in there as if people don't believe that it is Karloff at the time. Anyone know the history on that?
I found that very odd. Who could possibly have thought than an ACTOR could do two roles? And then... the two roles basically boiled down to a mysterious outsider who doesn't say much. Hardly miles apart...
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Old 10-27-16, 09:46 PM
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Re: "The Old Dark House" Reviews/Discussion - 2016 Horror Challenge: Day 18

Originally Posted by mrcellophane View Post
Character motivations are never fully explained, nor are several pieces of information about the host family's past. Also, characters keep running off to be in other films. There's a romance, a dramatic tragedy, a screwball comedy, and a avant-garde film about a woman eating all of the pickled onions! Anyway, I love it so very much.
Excellent summary!
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