Movie Review: House of Horrors (1946)

by StevenHelmer

A review of the black and white horror movie starring Rondo Hatton.

Synopsis: A struggling sculptor rescues a deformed mad man from the river, nurses him back to health and uses him as a model for his next work of art. However, frustrated by bad reviews, he eventually uses "The Creeper" to get revenge on the critics that have left him hungry and unable to pay his bills.


My oldest daughter and I have had this movie on our "to watch" list since last fall and finally had an opportunity to do it tonight while her mother was at work. I wasn't really sure what to expect from the film. But, overall, I have to say it was pretty decent.

I've heard of Rondo Hatton before but had never actually seen one of his movies (or, at least a movie he starred in). After seeing him in his role as The Creeper, I can understand why there is a horror movie award named and modeled after him.

He was actually really good in that role too. His character was a remorseless killer. But, at the same time, he could also be described, in many ways, as a victim since he was just trying to help out a man (Kosleck) who manipulated him into believing he was just helping a struggling friend when, in fact, his "friend" wasn't afraid to stab him in the back and turn him into the police if the situation called for it.

One thing that really surprised me about this movie was the fact it wasn't as predictable as I thought it was going to be. There was no mystery about who was responsible for the murders but, through the majority of the film, it was very difficult to figure out how the police would eventually connect the murders to the disgruntled artist. In fact, for the majority of the film, they had a completely different suspect (Lowery) that just kept looking more and more guilty. The fact it wasn't as predictable as expected did make the film much more entertaining to watch.

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Final Opinion

If you have never seen Rondo Hatton in a film, it's worth taking the time to do it at least once. And, if you are looking for a surprisingly entertaining movie to watch, this is the Hatton film I would recommend. I know my daughter and I did enjoy ourselves watching it tonight and my only regret is taking so long to finally watch it.

My Grade: A

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Updated: 08/29/2015, StevenHelmer
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DerdriuMarriner on 03/26/2022

StevenHelmer, Thank you for practical information, pretty pictures and product lines.
The library system here does not have House of Horrors or any film involving Rondo Hatton. So I won't be seeing House of Horrors in the immediate present or near future.

Who would be able to step into Rondo Hatton's shoes in a reboot or remake nowadays?

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