Sunday, January 4, 2015

The Silver Scream: 'The House That Vanished' Movie Review

Released in 1972, The House That Vanished is a thrilling, rather erotic movie about a young model whom unwittingly accompanies her boyfriend to an isolated country manor he intends to loot.  However, in the foggy English countryside, beautiful Valerie Jennings witnesses a brutal murder!  She flees into the fog-shrouded backwoods and takes refuge in junkyard where she hides until morning.

The horror isn't behind her, though, because once she returns to her flat strange things begin to happen.  She hasn't seen her boyfriend since fleeing the old manor in the country...yet his car reappears outside her home, then disappears once more.  And all her attempts to find the isolate manor are's as if the house has disappeared!

Then she meets the enigmatic Paul, who collects masks, and sparks fly.  Coincidentally, a strange old man takes residency in the the flat below her apartment...a man who studies pigeons and seems to have a strange fascination with her.  After her friend is murdered, Paul is kind enough to offer her a weekend his parents' old country manor in the English hillside...where she reconnects with murder!

I really enjoyed this did have a great amount of mystery and a slow-paced suspense that kept me watching.  There were plenty of coffee, tea, and cigarettes!  And the incest between young, handsome Paul and his Aunt helped cast a twisted plot.  I have to admit that I was guessing until the end and did not really figure this one out until I saw the familiar surroundings of the manor during the 'weekend vacation' when Valerie returned unwittingly to the hands of the murderer.

The story line, plot, setting, and details are a vintage gothic romance novel well-played.  I believe that fans of vintage gothic will enjoy (and find themselves well-entertained) by this movie!


My Rating:
5 Stars

1 comment:

  1. Spanish director and comic book artist Larraz was known for his unsettling visuals of English countryside and life. Dark, gloomy and morbid yet oddly mundane and this viewpoint really permeates in his best work, Vampyres. House That Vanished is a very weird film. Andrea Allan was a gorgeous actress and in this, she portrays a vacuous yet centered heroine. She never reported the murder of the woman in the beginning presumably because her boyfriend was a criminal yet a girl with her looks could have gone out with successful, normal dudes. The climax was a failure, as if Larraz had run out of budget and slapped an ending together. Who was the guy with the pigeons in his apartment? Why did he show up with the police? Why did the police show up at all? The killer was strangling her so why did the 'aunt' interfere? The police were not investigating the mask designer so how did they know where the house was, in the first place. I had the impression some pieces are missing in the final edit.



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