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

 -  Short | Horror
6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 979 users  
Reviews: 15 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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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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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

 
Innovative horror film-making
16 February 2015 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

There really isn't much you can say about a silent, three minute short from 1896, is there? Must cinema buffs already know that Georges Melies was a cinema pioneer who single-handled devised many of the tropes that are now familiar to us as modern cinema-goers, and THE HOUSE OF THE DEVIL is another example of his skill as a film-maker.

The story sees the Devil at work in his spooky old castle, summoning up various creatures in a bid to commit evil. Unfortunately he falls foul of an upright Christian, who uses the power of the cross to dispel his opponent.

The three minute running time is chock-full of the special effects work that Melies loved to put on screen, particularly the use of jump cuts to make figures appear and disappear at will. With a plethora of imps, spirits, bats, and ghouls, Melies single-handedly invented the horror genre, one which is still going strong all these years later.


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