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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

Film historians argue that this is the first film depiction of a vampire. While director and actor credited his character as Mephistopheles, a legendary demon, many horror elements associated with vampires exist in the film and are exhibited by the character. These include the transformation from bat to human form, conjuring a harem of demonic brides, apparent mesmeric control, and the ability to conjure humans and creatures to serve him. Many of vampire stereotypes featured here remained tropes in early films about vampires. See more »

Goofs

At around 00:03:00, while the ghosts are dancing in a circle, one of the ghosts makes contact with the wall and the entire set shakes considerably. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The American Nightmare (2000) See more »

User Reviews

 
not a horror but a comedy
13 April 2007 | by r-j-marshSee all my reviews

this film, although generally seen as the first horror, was in fact originally intended to amuse rather than scare. its only when you look at it with todays understanding of horror conventions that we see it as such. yes, it does correspond with the whole dark and impending thing and have aspects of the supernatural and creatures that we, as a modern cinema going audience connect automatically with horror, but if you view it as those at the time would have, you start to see that contrary to being a fear inspiring piece, it is actually a very interesting and cleverly put together series of artistic images. also, bearing in mind the level of filmic technology available at the time, is a fairly superior piece, but most definitely not a horror.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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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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