Director James Whale followed-up the huge success of Frankenstein in 1931 with another Universal Pictures chiller, The Old Dark House. Based on J.B Priestly’s novel Benighted, the pre-code 1932 horror-thriller is a wonderfully atmospheric piece which is expertly crafted by Whale.
Boris Karloff is the big name for genre fans, but Charles Laughton, Melvin Douglas and Raymond Massey also star. The film’s stand-out performance comes from Titanic actress Gloria Stuart – she’s great in it.
There’s a lot of tension on display here and Whale cranks-up the energy until the film’s last act. A modest success on its initial release, this has been over-looked in recent years but it deserves to be seen.The Masters Of Cinema series released a fantastic disc is 2018 which is worth purchasing.
This image is a publicity still for The Old Dark House featuring Boris Karloff and Gloria Stuart.