Trick & Treat for October 11th:
THE OLD DARK HOUSE (1932; starring Boris Karloff, Melvyn Douglas, Charles Laughton, Gloria Stuart; directed by James Whale)
This group should have checked with Travelocity’s “roaming gnome” before setting out on a nighttime drive through the English countryside. Just in case they were to find themselves on a lonely road in the middle of nowhere during a raging thunderstorm. Murphy’s Law being what it is, that’s exactly what happens to these folks, and as they run into trouble there is nary a Holiday Inn in sight. Luckily (or unluckily, as luck would have it), there’s shelter nearby, in the form of an old, dark… well, you know the rest. And so, what we have here in this terrific, classic film, is a variety of individuals much like those in later movies such as GRAND HOTEL. Except this group’s overnight stay turns out to be much less than grand. The guests include stuffy Raymond Massey, war vet Melvyn Douglas, delicate Gloria Stuart (the elderly Rose in James Cameron’s TITANIC), and the rich, repulsive Charles Laughton. Director James Whale (BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN) assembles them in the title location, where they come to realize that the permanent residents of the house (who include an alcoholic Boris Karloff and a pyromaniac) have some unfortunate and disturbing “issues” that will require much more than chocolate therapy–Hershey’s Special Dark or otherwise–to work out.
Who wants to wait until the 31st to wallow in Halloween indulgences and scary movies?! Home Projectionist doesn’t! And so we’ll have pairings of 31 Frights and 31 Bites every one of October’s 31 nights: a scary, snack size movie “trick”, and a delicious “treat” to go along with it.