21 May 2024
House of the Damned (1963)
63 min.
Directed by Maury Dexter.
With Ron Foster, Merry Anders, Richard Crane, Erika Peters, Dal McKennon, Georgia Schmidt, Stacey Winters.
This tame haunted house horror from 1963 is devoid of any real surprises, other than an unusual wrapup.

Architect Scott (Foster) and his wife Nancy (Anders) are hired to survey an old castle high in the California hills.

Seems the place has a mysterious history too, a previous owner having been an eccentric heiress who went batty and is now confined in a mental asylum.

Once there, Scott and Nancy find the place completely deserted. But it's not long before they discover some odd goings on: their master set of keys disappear in the night, one room remains inexplicably locked...and there seems to be something (or someone) in the house with them.

Rather toothless, this is routine stuff unable to muster enough suspense to keep things moving; Anders and Foster deliver adequate performances but their roughly-sketched characters don't help matters much.

The Tod Browning-esque climax starts to get things oiled up, but by then it's too little too late.

Not absolutely terrible overall, but not memorable.

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