John D’Amico’s Horror on YouTube #18 – The Old Dark House


The Old Dark House (1932) | Dir. James Whale | 72 min.

Every day in October, a recommendation from John D’Amico of a horror movie or TV episode available for free on YouTube. Enjoy:

James Whale, perhaps the first great horror filmmaker of the sound era, snuck this little ultra-black haunted house comedy in between his masterpieces Frankenstein and The Invisible Man. It’s not quite up the high bar set by those films, but you’ll find it a short and sweet tale with some really powerful moments and one of the great instances of unpredictable insanity on film.

Whale’s career is worth following. His horror films were standard-setting but he has some other greats in there too, like the haunting Journey’s End and the agile A Kiss Before the Mirror. You can read the original script for his unmade Dracula sequel here, and it’s a hell of a story in its own right.

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