James Rolfe: It's Cinemassacre's "Monster Madness". When I think of "The Old Dark House" I think of the perfect creepy movie. A group of people get lost in a storm, they stop at an old house where they meet the Femms. The Femms are an eccentric family who are reluctant to let them stay, but given the circumstances they give them their hospitality. They have gin and potatoes… and that's about it.
Horace Femm: Have a potato.
James: Not much happens except for the butler getting drunk and going crazy. He's played by Boris Karloff. This was produced by Universal right after they made "Frankenstein", so it only made sense they cast him again, but you can see how badly he was typecasted. He's just a lumbering brute who doesn't speak a single line. It wasn't until "The Mummy" when they finally let him talk.
Ernest Thesiger plays Horace Femm. He's creepy, funny and just totally delightful in the role.
Horace: Only gin. I like gin.
James: Later he played Dr. Pretorius in "Bride of Frankenstein"; one of the best mad scientists of all time.
Dr. Pretorius: The bride of Frankenstein!
James: Charles Laughton is in it too. He's a jolly fellow and he seems to balance the somber mood.
Sir William Porterhouse: Anyhow, before we knew where we were, something had fallen down and smashed the car in. Hahaha!
James: Later he was Dr. Moreau in "Island of Lost Souls" and as the hunchback in "Notre Dame". Gloria Stuart is in it too. You might know her from "Titanic" (clip from "Titanic" showing the old Rose) – that's what you'd call a long career right there. As the plot unfolds you learn more of the family's tragic secrets.
Sir Roderick Femm: This is an unlucky house… Two of my children died when they were twenty… And then other things happened. Madness came… Hehehe…
James: They have this crazy maniac named Saul locked up. You find that he's actually pretty friendly, but you just know that he's up to no good and that makes for a very tense and suspenseful scene.
Saul Femm: And there was a javelin in Saul's hand and Saul cast the javelin (he violently stabs the table with a knife and laughs wickedly).
James: What makes the movie so great is its chilling atmosphere. Everything is so dark, the constant sound of thunder and rain just enhances it. It's a movie that, for as simple as it is, it just lives up to its title 100 percent. Turn off the lights, sit back and watch "The Old Dark House".