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  House of Mystery Things that go bzzz… in the night
Year: 1961
Director: Vernon Sewell
Stars: Peter Dyneley, Jane Hylton, Nanette Newman, Maurice Kaufman, Colin Gordon, John Merivale, Ronald Hines, Colette Wilde, Molly Urquhart, George Selway, John Abineri
Genre: Thriller, TV MovieBuy from Amazon
Rating:  0 Votes
Review: This is a fast-paced (54m) second feature that played the bottom half of double bills when it was released, and today would make a one-off television play. It is cheaply made but still quite an effective chiller with a well-executed climax.

A young couple (Ronald Hines and Colette Wilde) are searching for their dream home and have directions to a place in the country called ‘Orchard Cottage’. When they arrive they are stunned to find such an ideal place which, although it needs cleaning up, is incredibly cheap.

Of course, if something seems too good to be true, it probably is, and the house has a history, related by the quietly spoken, rather distant, caretaker (Jane Hylton): "No one's taken it because of the ghost." Once a farm house, Orchard Cottage was purchased by eccentric hermit and electronics expert Mark Lemming (Peter Dyneley) who seems to conduct rather strange experiments on animal brainwaves. The whole house is fully converted to electricity and Mark has a workshop full of the latest equipment. There are rumours going about that Mark's wife is having an affair with Clive Mayhew (John Merivale), a family friend. Mark is a wealthy man, and it would be very easy to have an accident, with all that electric stuff around. But it is the wife and her lover who disappear, followed by Mark himself who does, in fact, electrocute himself in his workshop.

Orchard Cottage is then sold to a young couple (Nanette Newman and Maurice Kaufman). Strange things begin to happen: lights constantly flicker on and off, but inspection by an electrician proves there's nothing wrong. June sees a man standing by the window in the living room, but he disappears. The same man's image shows up on a TV screen, but a call to the TV station to verify it proves that no such man was on the programme they were watching.

Psychic investigator Mr. Burdon (Colin Gordon) is brought in to help. Using a camera and light meter, he's able to pick up on strange vibrations in the living room where most of the supernatural events have been taking place. A photograph of Mark Lemming confirms their worst fears: the dead man is the same man they've been spotting around the house. Burdon calls in psychic Mrs. Bucknall (Molly Urqhart) to hold a séance which, in a flashback-inside-a-flashback shows Mark's revenge against his wife and her lover.

I won’t reveal more because the revenge plot and climax of the film are clever and very well done.

This is a typical second feature with no intention of doing anything but entertain and it does it very well. The cast are all sound character actors and play their roles well. The story is engaging, you do want to see how it will resolve itself, and the atmosphere builds up to a good pitch of suspense until literally the last seconds when the final mystery is revealed.
Reviewer: Enoch Sneed

 

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