Pete and Ellen have reared Meg as their own, ever since she was a baby and her parents took off. Now a teen, Meg convinces her friend Nath to come help with chores on the farm: Pete isn't getting around on his wooden leg like he used to. When Nath insists on using a short cut home through the woods, Pete gets quite agitated and warns him of screams in the night, of terrors associated with the red house. Curious, Meg and Nath ignore his warnings and begin exploring. Meg begins falling in love with Nath, but his girlfriend Tibby has other plans for him. Meanwhile they all get closer to real danger and the dark secret of the red house.Written by
Ed Sutton <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Slow-building suspense and some good performances make "The Red House" a pretty good psychological thriller. An interesting story and a good cast headed by Edward G. Robinson are also helped by eerie musical effects that build up tension as the story proceeds.
The movie opens with some deceptively peaceful rustic scenes. Robinson is a farmer who lives with his sister and with Meg, a young woman whom they took in when her parents left her. The farmer hires a local youth (Lon McCallister) to help with chores on the farm. At dinner that evening, there is sudden tension when the conversation turns to the woods behind the farm. The farmer is agitated at the mere thought of anyone crossing through them. As the story proceeds, attention centers on a red house in the woods, which obviously holds some secrets that Robinson is anxious not to have made known. From there, things move slowly but effectively towards a tense climax.
The atmosphere is throughout filled with suspense and anxiety, not just regarding the secret of the red house, but also in the relationships among the characters. McCallister's character becomes close to Meg, but he already has a girl - who in turn is flirting with a mysterious man who lives in the woods. The farmer's relations with his sister and his ward are also filled with tension. Some interesting musical effects in Miklos Rozsa's score emphasize the often uncomfortable nature of it all.
While rather slow to come together, "The Red House" keeps the viewer's attention until the end. It's a good story, and worth watching.
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