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The House of the Devil (1896)

Le manoir du diable (original title)
Not Rated | | Short, Horror | 24 December 1896 (France)
With the help of a magic cauldron, Mephistopheles conjures up a variety of supernatural characters.

Director:

Georges Méliès
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Cast

Credited cast:
Jehanne d'Alcy Jehanne d'Alcy ... Young woman (as Jeanne d'Alcy)
Jules-Eugène Legris Jules-Eugène Legris ... Mephistopheles (unconfirmed)
Georges Méliès ... Mephistopheles
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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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Genres:

Short | Horror

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?

Trivia

May be the first horror and "vampire" film. 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

Followed by The Devil's Laboratory (1897) See more »

User Reviews

 
Innovative horror film-making
16 February 2015 | by Leofwine_dracaSee 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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Details

Country:

France

Language:

None

Release Date:

24 December 1896 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

The House of the Devil See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Silent

Color:

Color (hand-colored)| Black and White
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