This book contains 100 reviews. These are some of the scariest horror movies in history. The reviews are sorted in order of preference. The ranking of each film is determined by the sum of 7 ratings: stars, gimmick, rewatchability, story, creativity, acting & quality. Each film description contains a synopsis, a list of attributed genres, moods evoked, seven ratings and a three-paragraph review. These films are not for the squeamish. You have been warned!
A house of cards...
The things that strike us most about The Old Dark House are present until the end. The storm is its own character. We hear it growl and we see it blow curtains, revealing a poorly insulated old house. That storm is the reason, in the first place, that strangers gather all in one house, however improbable this scenario may be. It adds a surreal quality.
We understand we’re watching a dark movie, very early on, but, for a good while, we’re not sure who the enemy is. We’re told that the butler, played by Boris Karloff gets aggressive when he drinks, but that doesn’t justify the title. Nothing does. This film is all over the place. It is a dialogue-driven slow-burning thriller with great sets, decent acting but no story.
There is ambiance but no substance. The romance is shoved down our throats. Ultimately, the movie’s main problem is that it has no direction. It starts in chaos and ends in chaos. The technical side is somewhat ahead of its time; the photography, particularly. This is an artistic achievement that fails on the storytelling level. Watch it and forget it.