Monday, October 01, 2007
The Red House
Posted by JPX
“DID YOU EVER RUN FROM A SCREAM? YOU CAN'T!”
Old man Morgan is a crotchety farmer who lives on the outskirts of town with his sister and his adopted daughter, Ellen. Abutting their modest farm is a thick, eerie forest that holds family secrets. Morgan, who appears to be shouldering a great burden, has always forbidden Ellen to enter the forest. The lives of this insular family are disrupted one day when quasi-spoiled Ellen brings home a friend, Nath, and convinces Morgan to give Nath a job helping out on the farm after school. Nath? After his first long day on the job Nath informs Morgan that he is going to use the forest as a shortcut to get home rather than take the road, which would take much more time. Morgan immediately goes into panic mode, begging Nath not to go into the forest. Headstrong Nath ignores Morgan’s concerns and a la ‘Rebel Without a Cause’ bounds into the foreboding woods. A few minutes into his journey the wind kicks up something fierce, it begins to storm, and he stumbles upon a red house, which would be great shelter except that it is emanating terrible shrieks. Disoriented, Nath somehow finds his way back to Morgan’s farm where Morgan gives him the old, “I told you so, idiot” look. Despite this fright, Nath and Ellen become determined to find and unravel the secret of the red house. However, with every attempt to explore the forest they are driven out by various creepy events. What happened in the red house and why is Morgan slowly unraveling?
Over the summer I watched approximately 40 film noir movies with absolute glee. The Red House possesses many noirish qualities including creepy lighting, at least one fatal-ish femme, a dark ending, and a terrific orchestral score. I love Edward G. Robinson! He’s not easy on the eyes but he owns every scene he’s in. There’s just something unnerving about this guy. Imagine how daunting it must have been to be his son. His mother would say, “Your father wants to speak to you in his den” and you’d walk into his den to see this,
Shiver. I bet his kid immediately confessed to whatever he had done wrong and pled for mercy. But I digress.
The Red House is a gripping little tale with more than one twist. Robinson is just terrific as the man holding a dark secret. The “scary” forest is a great setting and it’s just always a kick to see how “teens” in the 1940s are portrayed on screen, especially when they’re all obviously in their 20s. Good fun.
at 9:17 AM