Howard and McGuire play schoolteachers who set out on a walking holiday on the very moors where a friend of theirs, another teacher, vanished the year before. A thunderstorm forces them to seek refuge in the home of Mason, a composer who fought in the Spanish Civil War and who suffers
occasional "fits" as a result. He lives a reclusive life out on the moors with just his housekeeper-nurse, Clare, and her unpleasant husband, Lawson, for company. Mason and Howard fall in love, but Mason is afraid that he killed Howard's friend during one of his fits. Things look black for the
lovers when Howard discovers a secret room containing a skeleton and a locket that belonged to the missing girl. Fortunately, though, it is revealed that it was Clare and Lawson who killed the girl, using Mason's lapses as a way to keep him under their control. The evil couple flee out onto the
fogbound moor but they don't get far, falling victims to quicksand. Though melodramatic and soundstage-bound, TERROR HOUSE is still quite effective and eerie. Fog covers almost every exterior; cinematographer Gunther Krampf spent long periods getting the artificial fog at just the right density.
The moor set was quite small, and for the scene in which the guilty parties flee into the night, it was necessary to use midgets to make the pair look farther away than the actual size of the set would allow. The final film was almost too effective, and after initially getting an A rating from the
British censor and being booked on the biggest cinema circuit in Britain, the rating was suddenly changed to H (for "Horrific"), making it off-limits for anyone under 16 years of age. The big circuits had a policy of showing only A films, so the independent cinemas became the big winners, getting
an excellent thriller starring Mason, Britain's top leading man at the time.
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- Rating: NR
- Review: Howard and McGuire play schoolteachers who set out on a walking holiday on the very moors where a friend of theirs, another teacher, vanished the year before. A thunderstorm forces them to seek refuge in the home of Mason, a composer who fought in the Span… (more)