House of Mystery (1961 film)

House of Mystery is a 1961 British supernatural mystery film. It was based on a play director Vernon Sewell had filmed three times before.[1] It was known in Germany as Das Landhaus des Dr. Lemming ("The Country House of Dr. Lemming"), and because of its compact running time, aired in the U.S. as an episode of the TV series "Kraft Mystery Theatre".[2]

House of Mystery
Directed byVernon Sewell
Produced byLeslie Parkyn
Julian Wintle
Screenplay byVernon Sewell
Based onplay L'Angoisse by Celia de Vilyars and Pierre Mills
StarringNanette Newman
Music byStanley Black
CinematographyErnest Steward
Edited byJohn Trumper
Production
company
Distributed byAnglo-Amalgamated Film Distributors (UK)
Release date
April 1961 (UK)
Running time
56 minutes
CountryUK
LanguageEnglish

Plot

A pair of newlyweds visit an old cottage for sale in the country, and hear the housekeeper’s account of its macabre history. The previous owners had been disturbed by paranormal activity, and on calling in a medium, the ghost was identified as an eccentric and vengeful scientist, once resident in the cottage. The scientist was obsessed with electricity, and when his unfaithful wife and her lover attempted to murder him, he responded by electrifying the living room floor and fixtures, and challenging the couple to escape.[3]

Cast

Critical reception

  • The Radio Times gave the film three out of five stars, saying, "this is a neat little spine-tingler from writer/director Vernon Sewell, who was something of a dab hand at summoning up demons from beyond, whether benign as in The Ghosts of Berkeley Square or downright menacing as in The Blood Beast Terror. Some aficionados would insist that if it ain't Hammer it ain't horror, but there are plenty of uneasy moments in this haunting story, in which a couple of newlyweds learn the grim secret of their dream house." [4]
  • The Bloody Pit of Horror wrote, "though modest, ultimately predictable and nothing spectacular, it's well-acted and at least manages to maintain interest." [2]
  • Britmovie called the film an "effectively macabre little b-movie narrated in several multi-layered flashbacks." [3]

References

  1. John Hamilton, The British Independent Horror Film 1951-70 Hemlock Books 2013 p 96-98
  2. The Bloody Pit of Horror (11 January 2014). "The Bloody Pit of Horror: House of Mystery (1961)". Thebloodypitofhorror.blogspot.co.uk. Retrieved 28 May 2014.
  3. "House of Mystery 1961 | Britmovie | Home of British Films". Britmovie. Retrieved 28 May 2014.
  4. "House of Mystery | Film review and movie reviews". Radio Times. 8 April 2013. Retrieved 28 May 2014.


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