Sherlock Holmes in the House of Fear Reviews
Holmes is called in to investigate when the members of The Good Comrades, a group of wealthy retired professional geezers, are bumped off one by one. Lestrade jumps to the obvious conclusion that one of their number is the murderer, hellbent on collecting the insurance, but all is not as it seems...
A good entry in the series, based on ACD's "The Five Orange Pips". In truth, it works better as a short story than a film - here the murders happen so frequently that it all becomes a shade melodramatic whereas in the original story ACD had the time to build the atmosphere slowly. The Scottish mansion setting is more convincing than the transatlantic Scottish accents of some of it's inhabitants. Nigel Bruce as Watson steals the show, whether he be chatting to an owl whilst digging up a grave, or shooting at random things whilst on a lonely nocturnal vigil.
Like a typical Friday the 13th film, the bodies start piling up in increasing gruesome fashion and the culprit is narrowed down. But Holmes still ain't convinced and secretly builds his own theories and tactics.
Again, House of Fear has the best kind of mystery atmosphere. I love the dark and spooky Scottish castle with the ever-howling wind and labyrinthine structure. I'd love to own a house like that. Watson comes across as a bit more buffoonish than usual but he still entertains. And despite reading the Adventure of the Five Orange Pips a few years ago I was still surprised by the twist ending.
One of the best Rathbone/Bruce movies.