Monday, July 23, 2018

Film Spotlight: The Old Dark House

 Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this film for review. All opinions are my own.

Photo courtesy of Eureka Entertainment

Eureka Entertainment has recently released The Old Dark House, James Whale’s atmospheric and entertaining horror starring Boris Karloff and Melvyn Douglas as part of The Masters of Cinema Series in a dual format (Blu-ray & DVD) in the UK. It is a new restoration of the chilling classic from the director of Frankenstein, The Invisible Man and The Bride of Frankenstein.

Photo courtesy of Eureka Entertainment

The Old Dark House is the story of a group of weary travellers who come upon a spooky mansion filled with mysterious occupants. There's a madman on the loose upstairs just to make it even more interesting. The Old Dark House is one of the best horror films of the 1930’s. There is a distinctive atmosphere throughout the film and there is no shortage of thrills and chills. This classic film was considered lost for many years, but is now being presented from a stunning new 4K restoration.

Photo courtesy of Eureka Entertainment

The story opens with our travellers caught in a terrible storm whilst journeying through a remote region of Wales. They end up taking refuge in a sinister mansion inhabited by the bizarre Femm family and their mute butler, Morgan (played by the iconic Boris Karloff) . Trying to make the best of a bad situation, the group settles in for the night, but the Femm family have a few skeletons in their closet, and one of them is on the loose.

Photo courtesy of Eureka Entertainment

Photo courtesy of Eureka Entertainment

As a film lover, I've always wanted to see this film, since I heard about it some years ago in a film documentary that I was watching. I love a classic horror film and when I found out about this film I looked forward to seeing it one day. When I finally had my chance, I was not disappointed. It has all of the ingredients for a fun film night at home...a spooky old mansion, a stormy night, and eccentric characters. Another treat of this film is seeing a young Gloria Stuart (veteran of many films and probably most famously the elderly Rose in Titanic).

Above: Gloria Stuart - Photo courtesy of Eureka Entertainment

The Dual Format Special Features include:

•    Optional English subtitles

•    An exclusive video essay by critic and filmmaker David Cairns 

•    Feature length audio commentary by critic & author Kim Newman and Stephen Jones

•    Feature length audio commentary by Gloria Stuart

•    Feature length audio commentary by James Whale biographer James Curtis

•    Daughter of Frankenstein: A Conversation with Sara Karloff 

•    Curtis Harrington Saves The Old Dark House - an archival interview with director Curtis

Harrington about his efforts to save The Old Dark House at a time when it was considered a lost film.

Photo courtesy of Eureka Entertainment

The Old Dark House has an incredible cast, including Melvyn Douglas, Gloria Stuart, Boris Karloff, and Charles Laughton. This is a fun movie to watch and I thoroughly enjoyed it!

THE OLD DARK HOUSE (Masters of Cinema) Theatrical Trailer can be seen here.

This classic film is available to order from Amazon here .    

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