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James Whale Halloween Double Feature


Sat 27 Oct 2018, 6:00pm–9:00pm

Where: Academy Cinemas, 44 Lorne St, CBD, Auckland

Restrictions: PG

Ticket Information:

  • General Admission: $15.50
  • Senior (60+) / Student / Guild / Film Society: $12.00
  • Child (15 and under): $10.00
  • Additional fees may apply


Listed by: Academy Cinemas

Legendary for the horror hits he directed for Universal, especially Frankenstein (1931) and its equally iconic sequel The Bride of Frankenstein (1935), Academy Cinemas is proud to present a Halloween double featuring cult horror favourites from director James Whale.

We will be showing The Invisible Man and The Old Dark House, both films that exemplify the director’s expressionist use of horror lighting, his favoured mobile camerawork and a signature caustic humour.

Also noticed by modern scholars is the (sometimes surprisingly frank) queer sensibility of his films, proving disruptive to the more familiar fun of his horror thrills. A must for horror fans and lovers of cult cinema alike - and two tickets for the price of one!


The Invisible Man (1933)
A huge box office success that also kick-started legendary character actor Claude Rains’ (Casablanca) Hollywood career, The Invisible Man remains James Whale’s best known film after Frankenstein, and one of the only adaptations of H.G Wells novels that the science-fiction author approved of. Covered in bandages and wearing dark glasses, Claude Rains is the mysterious Dr. Griffin, who arrives in a small English village and takes a room at the local tavern.

Unbeknownst to the villagers, Griffin has created a serum that makes him invisible - he attempts to hide his amazing discovery, but the drug’s side effects slowly drive him to commit acts of unspeakable terror. Apart from Rains’ unhinged performance, the still-outstanding practical ‘invisibility’ effects work by John P. Fulton, John J. Mescall and Frank D. Williams are a must-see.

The Old Dark House (1932)
A group of weary travellers, a spooky mansion, and a madman on the loose upstairs! This odd horror-comedy confection is now seen as a precursor for films such as The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) and a staple for James Whale aficionados. Caught in a storm whilst journeying through a remote region of Wales, a group of travellers take refuge in a sinister mansion inhabited by the bizarre Femm family and their mute butler, Morgan (played by the iconic Boris Karloff).

A fantastic ensemble of character actors pepper the mad family in the centre of this disconcertingly funny haunted house tale, as do surprisingly subversive themes of class, gender, sexuality and mental health issues. First released in 1932 and subsequently thought lost for years, we will be playing the freshly restored 2018 4k restoration of this haunted house classic.

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