I cannot image what audiences thought as they saw a motion picture for the first time. It must have been an amazing experience. Now they could see images not only of things they knew but also things that were solely the domain of their imagination. Although it was not called horror in its day, The House of the Devil is often credited as the first horror film ever made. French director Georges Méliès who also gave us the iconic silent film Journey to the Moon (1901) shows us fanciful and humorous images of flying bats, skeletons, mysterious hooded figures and the devil himself [played by the director.] It's only three minutes long but this is where it all started. Serious fans of horror need to see it just to appreciate the development of the genre over time.
Between 1896 and 1914, Méliès directed over five hundred movies, both fantasy and drama. His playful spirit not only entertained audiences but became the inspiration for many young aspiring filmmakers to follow in his footsteps. Who knew that only 24 years later we would be treated to the likes of The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920) and Dr Jekyll and Mr Hide (1920). Merci Georges for getting the ball rolling. Our lives would be much different without you.
RATING: Very Good.
For more info check out the film's entry in IMDB.