The House in Marsh Road Film Details
Overview: A novelist and his sexy lover plot to kill the novelist’s wife so he can inherit her fortune including her house that happens to be haunted.
Review: Jean Linton (Patricia Dainton) is married to an unreliable, heavy drinking and would be author called David (Tony Wright) who drinks what little money he earns reviewing books and subjects his wife to a life of living in private hotels and owing rent to all and sundry. But, everything changes when Jean is left an old fashioned country house called High Winds by her Aunt Grace who has unexpectedly passed away. The house is supposedly haunted by a poltergeist that the elderly Irish housekeeper Mrs O’ Brien (Anita Sharp Bolster) refers to as ‘Patrick’ saying that it was very protective of Aunt Grace and brought misfortune to those who tried to harm her. Jean is inclined to believe that it actually exists since furniture starts to move around of its own accord, but David is sceptical dismissing it as ‘supernatural nonsense’ and his only interest is selling the house to make a quick buck, but his wife flatly refuses. David begins an affair with the attractive Valerie Stockley (Sandra Dorne) who he has hired as a typist to work on his novel and her divorce is about to come through. David proposes to her and she accepts, but Jean poses a problem so the pair plan to murder her in order to be able to sell the house for the £6000 that local property developer and owner Maurice Lumley (Sam Kydd) has offered them for it. When David attempts to get Jean drunk and push her down the shaft of the house lift, the cage slams shut of its own accord. Next, he attempts to poison her hot milk, but the doorbells start ringing continuously and extremely loud when she goes to sip from it and causing her to spot that it has been poisoned. She pours it into the plants when David goes to check on the doorbells and, the following day, she visits her lawyer in London but is unable to convince him that her husband is trying to do her in. After all, who would believe her story about a poltergeist intervening to save her life from her husband’s machinations? While she is away, David and Valerie make love in the house behind her back and dear old Patrick has even more tricks -and deadly ones – up his sleeve resulting in terrible consequences… A modestly effective little ghost chiller from quota quickie stalwart Montgomery Tully that seems extremely primitive today in terms of its special effects. The hauntings themselves are very basic and would not have stretched the technicians creative skills too much; in part, no doubt, to keep within the constraints of what must have been a very tight budget and hectic shooting schedule. They include a mirror shattering itself when Valerie looks into it to tie her headscarf, an armchair moving by itself (off screen mainly) and ink spilling all over David’s paperwork. Hardly marrow freezing stuff although the latter features an effective little moment where David attempts to blame Mrs. O’Brien for the accident and she replies: “He (Patrick) must be very angry with you about something.” A nice touch of little oldie worldy superstition there which, in this case, turns about to be frighteningly true. The performances are very good all round, it has to be said, with Tony Wright utterly convincing as the layabout ‘writer’ who is more interested in making a quick, easy buck than earning a decent living and Sandra Dorne who was a great femme fatale in Wolf Rilla’s superior b-pic Marilyn nearly a decade previously is excellent here and works very well with Wright in their scenes together. Patricia Dainton who was the excellent leading lady in Montgomery Tully’s outstanding The Third Alibi – released the same year and made by the same production company as this one, Grand National – plays her part as the wife in danger adequately and is believable as the honest, hard working girl who is lumbered with a layabout husband who is content to do nothing except live off her money while having an affair and plotting to kill her so he can get his hands on her valuable property. The climax in which the poltergeist exacts vengeance on Wright and Dorne while they are alone in the house during a thunderstorm is competently done and Tully succeeds in getting some tension and suspense from it. Praise must also go to Philip Martell’s excellent music score, which adds production value and a sense of creepiness to the proceedings. All in all, The House In Marsh Road is enjoyable if you don’t expect too much and makes for pleasant, undemanding entertainment as well as being a nice reminder of an era of British filmmaking that has long disappeared.
Duration: 70 min
Genre: Horror, Thriller
Also known as: La casa vengadora,The House in Marsh Road,Invisible Creature