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The story centers around a murderous scheme to collect a rich inheritance. The object of murder is Miriam Webster, who is to share in the inheritance with her half brother Warren, who lives with his childhood guardian Helga in the mansion where Warren and Mariam grew up. Confined to a wheelchair after recently suffering a stroke, Helga is cared for by her nurse Emily, a strange young woman who has formed a close bond with Warren. Written by
In the final reel, when Miriam is about to go into the house for the big climax, there was a one-minute "Fright Break" in which producer/director William Castle advised the audience that anyone too scared to see the climax could go into the lobby and get their money back. For this gimmick, Columbia shipped a cardboard "Coward's Corner" to theaters playing the film. Supposedly, audience members too frightened to see the climax could go to the "Coward's Corner" and wait there until the film ended and the rest of the audience filed past. Apparently no one took the offer. See more »
The position of the knocker in Helga's hand changes between shots numerous times whenever she's using it. See more »
I remember when we were kids, you took this doll away from me and I never saw it again.
You want it? Take it.
See more »
William Castle does needlepoint as he introduces the movie, then shows it as the movie's title, followed by the beginning credits which are also in needlepoint. See more »
"If you stay in this house one more minute, I'm going to kill you!"
This is yet another classic from William Castle, the king of the gimmicks. The gimmick used for this film, often compared with "Psycho", was the idea of a "Fright Break" during which the viewer has 30 seconds to determine if they want to see the 'terrifying' conclusion to the film. When released in theaters initially, there was a separate section that patrons could go to during the "Fright Break". Gimmicks aside this is a very well crafted, often goofy, and quite effective little thriller. The murders, acting, and storyline are all over the top and everyone in the movie puts on quite an effective performance. Standing out in her role as Emily is Jean Arliss. It seems that Emily is quite disturbed as the movie opens with an alarming murder sequence. The story goes downhill from there and, just when you think you have all of the answers, the film changes the questions! The ending is very shocking for first time viewers and yet this is the kind of film that also gets more and more entertaining with each additional viewing. Highly recommended for horror fans, even though it's often compared with "Psycho" I feel that the film stands out on it's own and it's ending is actually more effective than Hitchcock's. Watch this movie, you won't regret it!
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