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Summary: A bat flies into an ancient castle and transforms itself into Mephistopheles himself. Producing a cauldron, Mephistopheles conjures up a young girl and various supernatural creatures, one of which brandishes a crucifix in an effort to force the devil-vampire to vanish. (imdb)
It's interesting to me how the more tolerable of these earliest films excel through their utilisation of fairly un-breathtaking stop-motion play. I suppose such tactics allow for greater creativity in terms of storytelling, as opposed to the less effective ones that might rigidly plant participants into middling situations. The House of the Devil just about belongs to the group considering its passive appeal, but there's nothing especially innovative in aesthetic terms.
This was actually my first Méliès, and it was absolutely delightful. It could be argued that this was the very first horror film, although I think that title might be more fitting for The Golem or Caligari.
I'm loving the Melies. The camera tricks are great, and I also like that he injects a little bit of fantasy into his films. Most early films are boring because their subjects are so mundane. Melies wasn't afraid to be a little weird.