The Haunted Castle (1896 film)
|The Haunted Castle|
A cavalier is subdued by spectres (centre) summoned by the devil (left).
|Directed by||Georges Méliès|
|Produced by||Georges Méliès|
|Written by||Georges Méliès|
|Editing by||Craig Herring|
|Distributed by||Georges Méliès|
|Release dates||December 24, 1896|
|Running time||3 minutes|
|Budget||$108 (rumored)|
The Haunted Castle (French: Le Manoir du Diable which means "The Manor of the Devil") is an 1896 three-minute-long French film by Georges Méliès and number 78-80 on the Star Films catalog. The film contains many traditional pantomime elements and is intended to amuse people, rather than frighten them. Nonetheless, it is considered by many to be the first horror film, as well as the first vampire film. The Haunted Castle is now in the public domain.
The film opens with a large bat flying into a medieval castle. The bat circles the room, before suddenly changing into Mephistopheles (Georges Méliès). The demon produces a cauldron and an assistant, who helps him conjure a woman from the cauldron.
The room is cleared shortly before two cavaliers enter. The devil's assistant pokes their backs before instantaneously transporting to different areas of the room, confusing the pair and causing one to flee. The second stays and has several other tricks played on him, such as furniture being moved around and the sudden appearance of a skeleton.
The cavalier is unfazed, using a sword to attack the skeleton, which then turns into a bat, then into the devil character who conjures four spectres to subdue the man. Recovering from the women's attack, the man is visibly dazed and is brought the woman from the cauldron, who impresses him with her beauty. The devil then turns her into a withered old crone in front of the man's eyes, then again into the four spectres.
The second cavalier returns and after a brief show of bravery, flees again, this time by leaping over the balcony's edge. After the spectres disappear, the cavalier is confronted face-to-face by the devil before reaching for and brandishing a large crucifix, which causes the devil to vanish.
Rediscovery and Rerelease
In October 2013, the Oberlin Silent Film Ensemble at Oberlin Conservatory premiered a new score for the film.
- "Georges Méliès: Encore". Flicker Alley. Retrieved September 1, 2011.
- Hardy, Phil, ed. (September 1994). The Overlook Film Encyclopedia: Horror. The Overlook Film Encyclopedia Series 3. Overlook Press. ISBN 978-0-87951-518-8.
- "The Haunted Castle online streaming". Internet Archive. Retrieved September 1, 2011.
- Wemaere, Severine; Duval, Gilles (April 2011). A Trip to the Moon: Back in color (La Couleur retrouvee du Voyage dans la Lune) (PDF). Groupama Gan Foundation for Cinema and Technicolor Foundation for Cinema Heritage. p. 192. Retrieved September 3, 2011.
- "Le Manoir du Diable (1896)". steve-calvert.co.uk. Retrieved January 29, 2012.
- "One of world's first films found intact in New Zealand". The Miami News. 21 October 1988. Retrieved 29 June 2013.
- The Haunted Castle at the Internet Movie Database
- The short film The Haunted Castle (1896) is available for free download at the Internet Archive [more]