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The House of Fear (Universal 1939)

House of Fear, The (Universal 1939)

Universal’s often-overlooked The House of Fear was released on the 30th of June, 1939.

A marvellous little hour and five minutes’ romp, it tells the tale of a detective going undercover as a theatre producer to investigate an actor’s murder after his body disappears and apparently ‘haunts’ the auditorium.

Many Universal aficionados tend to miss this gem, procrastinating over lack of monsters or a cast of note, but The House of Fear is a tightly produced, suspenseful piece highlighting what can be done with a decent director (Joe May), a natty screenwriter (Peter Milne) and a cast willing to put in their hearts and souls (headed up by William Gargan and Irene Hervey).

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