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The House of the Devil (1896)
"Le manoir du diable" (original title)

 |  Short, Horror
6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 1,140 users  
Reviews: 16 user | 5 critic

A bat flies into an ancient castle and transforms itself into Mephistopheles himself. Producing a cauldron, Mephistopheles conjures up a young girl and various supernatural creatures, one ... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Jeanne d'Alcy
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Storyline

A bat flies into an ancient castle and transforms itself into Mephistopheles himself. Producing a cauldron, Mephistopheles conjures up a young girl and various supernatural creatures, one of which brandishes a crucifix in an effort to force the devil-vampire to vanish. Written by Doug Sederberg <vornoff@sonic.net>

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Short | Horror

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Also Known As:

The Haunted Castle  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Star Film Catalogue no. 78-80. See more »

Goofs

One of the ghosts (all of whom are wearing a white sheet over their head) cannot see where he is going, and walks right into a wall. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The American Nightmare (2000) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Containing some elements of later vampire films.
27 June 2007 | by (Chinatown, California) – See all my reviews

The very first horror movie was not 1896's Le Manoir Du Diable (The Devil's Castle), in fact, Georges Melies' Un Nuit Terrible that features a giant insect, is his first production in the horror genre, anticipating the creature-on-the-loose plots of the fifties. However, Le Manoir Du Diable is the first film to feature hints of the vampire. Its running time barely three minutes, and made by and starring Melies. Looking at it many years later it seems primitive and crude, but it also displays an imaginative exuberance and joy that makes it one of film history's little treasures.

The Devil played by Melies himself, has a kind of carnival charm. In a castle, a flying bat turns into the Devil. The Devil makes a cauldron magically appear. He also conjures up a beautiful woman, and an old man carrying a book. Satan then makes cauldron, woman, man, and book disappear. A knight shows up carrying a cross. Our villain clearly panicked, there is a puff of smoke and the Devil is gone.

Because of the brazen, Gothic quality of Le Manoir Du Diable, its brief running time is not a limitation. Serious movie lovers should make the extra effort to get real satisfaction. Go to the "Horror Films" and "Classic Horror Films" Web sites. Read books like " The Satanic Screen: An Illustrated Guide to The Devil in Cinema" by Nikolas Schreck and Allan Hunter's "Chambers Concise Encyclopedia of Film and Television." Find odd-man-out wonders like Le Manoir Du Diable and enjoy horror's timeless feast.


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