House of Mystery (1961)

Article 2457 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 12-24-2007
Posting Date: 5-4-2008
Directed by Vernon Sewell
Featuring Peter Dyneley, Jane Hylton, Nanette Newman
Country: UK

A young couple is startled to find that a big, comfortable house has such a small selling price on it. The woman who shows them the house tells them that the house is haunted, and tells the tale of the previous residents.

I’m really tempted to overpraise this modest, unassuming little horror movie, if for no other reason than that the ending blew me away. It’s not really that the ending is brilliant or original; it’s simply that the movie does such a fine job of setting up that ending that I marveled at how effectively I was manipulated by the movie. Yet I don’t want to talk the movie up too much because I don’t want people to go in with high expectations, because that just might kill the movie. Furthermore, the reason the ending was so effective for me was that it was timed perfectly with the way my thoughts were thinking at that point, and that may be something of an accident; it may not work near as well for someone else. As for the rest of the movie, it’s mostly the usual ghost story, with the most interesting aspect being how the ghost manifestations are tied to electricity. In fact, electricity plays a huge part in the story; all of the deaths in the story are the cause of electricity as well. Also, the structure of the story is rather odd (it has flashbacks within flashbacks), but, if the ending works for you, you’ll know why.


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