5.1/10
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13 user 16 critic

House of the Damned (1963)

Approved | | Mystery, Thriller | March 1963 (USA)
An architect and his wife are staying in an empty castle in California. They are joined by an unhappily married lawyer and his wife. Things start getting strange when they spot a half man/... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview:
Ron Foster ...
Scott Campbell
...
Nancy Campbell
...
Joseph Schiller
Erika Peters ...
Loy Schiller
...
Mr. Quinby
Georgia Schmidt ...
Priscilla Rochester
Stacey Winters ...
Nurse
...
The Giant
Ayllene Gibbons ...
The Fat Woman
John Gilmore ...
The Legless Man
Frieda Pushnik ...
The Legless Girl
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Storyline

An architect and his wife are staying in an empty castle in California. They are joined by an unhappily married lawyer and his wife. Things start getting strange when they spot a half man/half beast prowling around the house and keep seeing a headless woman wandering the grounds. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

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"We Dare You To Enter" See more »

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Mystery | Thriller

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Approved | See all certifications »
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March 1963 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

O Castelo Maldito  »

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2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Goofs

When Ron Foster and Merry Anders set out on their journey to the House they are in a Chrysler, but arrive in a Plymouth. When they go to the estate agent to collect the keys the Chrysler is parked outside, but they return to the house in the Plymouth. See more »

Quotes

Scott Campbell: You're... you're all...
The Fat Woman: You can say it, Mr. Campbell, freaks.
Scott Campbell: I was going to say carnival people. Captain Arbuckle owned a carnival.
The Fat Woman: A circus. Not a large one but a circus nonetheless.
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Connections

Featured in Win Win (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Single-note haunted house film
29 June 2016 | by (New York, NY, United States) – See all my reviews

"House of the Damned" starts out promising enough, following an architect and his wife who visit a California mansion with a strange history. All is fairly normal at first, but after they meet a lawyer and his wife there, events take a turn.

One of the more off-the-map haunted house films of the twentieth century, "House of the Damned" is a complete oddity in just about every sense of the word. It runs an awkward hour and three minutes long, meanders without any apparent purpose for the first fifty minutes, and then nosedives into a twist that is completely out of left field.

The truth be told, there really is not much happening here, which is saying something for a feature that runs about sixty minutes. In spite of the run time, the film doesn't necessarily feel that short, but the script is a bit too skeletal, and the lack of legitimate thrills makes the audience yearn for a bit more development. It is not entirely a bad film, though. For what it's worth, it's wonderfully atmospheric, and hits notes similar to "House on Haunted Hill" and Robert Wise's superior thriller "The Haunting." The first half of the film does manage to ratchet some suspense and intrigue, with the proceedings becoming increasingly inexplicable.

The acting here is solid, with Merry Anders and Ron Foster playing the lead on screen couple convincingly. As I said before, the film's conclusion is unexpectedly bizarre; it works well enough I suppose, but it does certainly soften the film's overall bite, which isn't much to begin with.

Overall, "House of the Damned" is a fairly uneventful, single-note horror movie that is worth a watch as a genre oddity that has more or less been forgotten. It's not remarkable by any stretch of the imagination, but it is atmospheric and has two solid scare scenes that are visually fantastic. Ultimately though, it feels more like a clever episode of "The Twilight Zone" than it does a feature film—not that that's necessarily bad, but it certainly makes one wonder where the filmmakers were coming from. 6/10.


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