I love me some 1960s black and white haunted house films. House of the Damned is barely an hour long, and with some of the repetitive dialogue and repetitive actions by the limited number of characters removed, it could have been a pretty tight 45-minute flick. Instead, it drags a bit. However, it’s worth a watch for a few bone-chilling moments.
This architect and his wife go to survey a big old castle. After loads of nonsense with them arriving at the castle, not having the keys, going to the real estate agent, going back to the castle, and then trying a bunch of keys, they finally get in and we’ve lost like 20 minutes of the 60-minute running time. But the architect does make some good quips about entering Dracula’s parlor.
Eventually, another couple with marital problems shows up. That’s about the extent of the plot. So on to the good stuff. First, when the main couple is sleeping, something seems to crawl into their bedroom and take the keys. This scene, void of any music, is actually freaky as hell and blows away any of the CGI crawly shit that appears in every damn Hollywood horror movie these days. This is the ultimate moment in House of the Damned. If you dare, a clip of the scene is in this trailer….
There’s also a fricking creepy face watching one of the women from behind a vent. Then the same woman opens a door to find towering Richard Kiel just standing there…at which point he starts to silently chase her. EEK!
During the search for her, the other woman stumbles upon a headless body that’s still moving while the men find a hideous corpse in a bedroom.
Unfortunately, the movie comes to the most absurd conclusion as it’s revealed who is behind the haunting…and it has nothing to do with all the little clues dropped along the way. It’s ridiculously random—and the spooks simply explain why they were doing it and then exit, leaving the couples staring with as much confusion as the audience. Still, that damn creepy crawly moment should be on every list of the most terrifying horror movie scene ever.