The Old Dark House (PG)
Sunday 29th July to Friday 3rd August
Prices: £14.90 back sofas, £12 front sofas, £10.50 std, £7.50 concs
Considered lost for many years, this 1932 adaptation of the J.B. Priestley novel Benighted came from Dudley native James Whale, and in one swift motion set the template for the spooky house movie.
Caught in a storm whilst journeying through a remote region of Wales, a group of travellers take refuge in a sinister mansion inhabited by the bizarre Femm family and their mute butler, Morgan (played by the iconic Boris Karloff). Trying to make the best of a bad situation, the group settles in for the night, but the Femm family have a few skeletons in their closet, and one of them is on the loose…
Now digitally restored for the big screen and looking better than it ever did in the 1930s, The Old Dark House managed to both create a genre whilst parodying it at the same time, a devilish sense of humour running through the film as audiences encounter a bed-ridden patriarch played by a woman and a mad butler who appears to be half-man, half wolf. A film that feels fifty years ahead of its time, The Old Dark House deserves to be as well known as Whale’s Frankenstein.