Pete and Ellen have reared Meg as their own, ever since she was a baby and her parents took off. Now a teen, Meg convinces her friend Nath to come help with chores on the farm: Pete isn't getting around on his wooden leg like he used to. When Nath insists on using a short cut home through the woods, Pete gets quite agitated and warns him of screams in the night, of terrors associated with the red house. Curious, Meg and Nath ignore his warnings and begin exploring. Meg begins falling in love with Nath, but his girlfriend Tibby has other plans for him. Meanwhile they all get closer to real danger and the dark secret of the red house. Written by
Ed Sutton <email@example.com>
First, I saw this as a child and recall being absolutely mesmerized and terrified by the creepy music associated with the house. Upon seeing it again some months back, I was immediately brought back to childhood and felt the same strangled dread. Sometimes memories of things from youth don't hold up but in this case, RED HOUSE remains a bizarre and scary movie into adulthood.
Robinson's performance is very atypical but effective. He was a far more versatile actor than most people realize. As definitive as his fatcat gangster kingpin roles were in LITTLE CAESAR, KEY LARGO and the like, he was equally believable as victims and suckers, as in movies like SCARLET STREET.
It is surprising that the studio was able to slip some very sexual material by the censors into this movie; Robinson is a deeply troubled and surprisingly sympathetic "deviant" here and things are handled with relative frankness.
This isn't a perfect movie (some motivational problems in particular) and i didn't plan to comment on it, but i strongly disagree with the comments of another reviewer who dismissed Robinson so I wanted to briefly opine with my dissenting opinion. One final note: besides the highly chilling music, this movie features a very haunting ending that will stay with you. This is pretty twisted stuff given the era, and despite some datedness, it's certainly worth a look for those who like their noir Gothic and haunted.
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