A search for a winning lottery ticket in his dead father's grave causes Sardonicus' face to freeze in a horrible grimace, until he forces a doctor to treat his affliction--with even more ... See full summary »
Jonathan Jones, a professor of ancient languages, comes into possession of an ancient coin. He translates its inscription, which gives him three powers: to inflict pain, slow down time or ... See full summary »
A 12-year-old orphan who has just inherited a fortune is trapped on an island with his uncle, a former British intelligence commander who intends to kill him. A young girl is the boy's only... See full summary »
Janet is a young student at a private school; her nights are troubled by horrible dreams in which she sees her mother, who is in fact locked in an insane asylum, haunting her. Expelled ... See full summary »
Although filmed with a color negative, the film was released in black-and-white. See more »
When Caspar loses at cards in the opening scene, he pushed four stacks of chips towards the old lady who won; the stacks fall over. In the next shot the croupier is pushing the now upright stacks towards the lady and one falls over. In the next shot the lady pulls four upright stacks towards her. See more »
Just like Castle's movie "Zotz!", The Old, Dark House was yet another inane farce that easily proved just how clueless this guy was at directing Comedy (more so than he was with directing Horror).
Once again (just like with "Zotz!") this less-than-funny, hare-brained story had the distinctive feel of being an imitation (a very poor imitation) of a typical Disney, family movie of the early 1960s. This film's targeted audience was that of children under 10 who obviously had very low expectations about what was entertaining and what wasn't.
This film certainly had all sorts of potential to be a really fun and humorous story for all ages. But it seemed that at the hands of such a clueless amateur like William Castle, its story just didn't come anywhere near to living up to that potential.
At every opportunity to generate some genuine laughs, Castle missed the mark, over and over again, and let its story fall flat on its face and flounder around in what seemed like a literal no-man's land of B-grade mediocrity.
I believe that The Old, Dark House was one of the few Castle films that was actually shot in colour.
This film's story is something of a "Whodunit". It involves the peculiar specifics of a family Will, the 7 eccentric relatives who all reside at Femm Hall (a grand, old, English mansion falling into ruin), and an American outsider who inadvertently gets dragged into an unpleasant family affair that goes way beyond his power of control.
One of this film's biggest downfalls was Castle's inability to build suspense, sustain drama and be humorous, all at the same time. Long before it's actually revealed, the viewer will have no trouble guessing the identity of the killer who's been bumping off all of the Femms at Femm Hall.
This is not a good movie. I don't even recommend it as entertainment for young children. Let's face it, William Castle just didn't have the knack for creating memorable Comedy.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?