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Weary travelers find shelter in a mysterious Welsh manor in this definitive "old dark house" thriller and cult movie favorite by horror pioneer James Whale (Frankenstein).
Greeted with an animal-like grunt by the mansion's hideously scarred butler (Boris Karloff), three disoriented voyagers (Melvyn Douglas, Raymond Massey, and Gloria Stuart) find themselves in the unwelcoming company of the psychotic Femm family, whose members include a religious fanatic obesessed with mortality and other matters of the sinful flesh (Eva Moore), her browbeaten brother (Ernest Thesiger), and a scripture-quoting homicidal pyromaniac (Brember Wills)...all watched over by their androgynous, 102-year-old father (Elspeth "John" Dudgeon).
Relieving the story's overwhelming weirdness somewhat are Charles Laughton and Lillian Bond, who co-star as two more stranded travelers: an uncouth Manchester gent oddly fixated on his former lover's uncanny death and Margaret, his chorus girl sidekick.
As witty and surprising as it is darkly unsettling, The Old Dark House is a ghoulishly delightful treat, a one-of-a-kind macabre comedy blanketed with rain-soaked, gothic eeriness orchestrated by one of the foremost directors of the American horror film.
"One of the greatest of all horror films." - William K. Everson, Classics Of The Horror Film