Sunday, 23 November 2014

The House Of The Devil (1896)

The house of the devil is also known as "le manoir du diable" and is the first horror film ever to be made. You could call it a "horror film" although it really is a short horror due to its short run time. It consists of no sound whatsoever, and contains merely a bunch of random black and white animations. I think it is really funny and cool to see though, as a bat suddenly turns into a man, and it is pretty bizarre to watch. Some of the animations actually gave me goose bumps.
Funnily enough, the very first moment - when the bat transforms into a man - actually gave me a fright for some reason after the first time I had seen it. It obtains a very good score of 6.8/10 on IMDB which is brilliant for a black and white horror to have been made in 1896 - more than 100 years old!

The "film" runs for approximately 3 minutes, and was created by Georges Méliès. A bat flies into an ancient castle and transforms itself into Mephistopheles himself. Producing a cauldron, Mephistopheles conjures up a young girl and various supernatural creatures, one of which brandishes a crucifix in an effort to force the devil-vampire to vanish. The short horror basically displays the character Mephistopheles creating many supernatural creatures, at several spontaneous moments. I actually enjoyed watching the clip, and would recommend to all true horror fans to watch it if you already haven't.

I found it hard to identify the strengths within the film, however I would say for being over 100 years old, it is fairly entertaining and there is a spontaneous concept to the clip as we have no idea when the next character/supernatural creature is going to pop out. There are a few funny moments within the short horror, which I noticed near the end, as the man runs away and jumps off the balcony type ledge. I guessed from this that he couldn't take any more and gave in.

Obviously, 3 minutes is not an ideal length however it is a short horror and was the first horror clip ever. I also feel that if there was sound to it, that it would be a little more interesting, even if it was background music. Apart from this, I wouldn't say there are many more weaknesses to it, although you could argue that the plot is rather weak. I thought it was pretty funny how random the clip was, although you might think differently.

Overall, I would like all of you awesome horror fans to go and give the clip a watch! It can simply be found on YouTube if you enter "le manoir du diable" or "the house of the devil". Some of the clips contain audio, but if you want the full original experience, watch one without sound. I hope you do enjoy it folks, and try to watch it straight through. Don't allow any interruptions because it's pretty entertaining!

Overall Rating - 7/10

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