The Red House is an interesting psychological thriller [based on the novel by George Agnew Chamberlain], with its mood satisfactorily sustained throughout the pic. Film, however, has too slow a pace, so that the paucity of incident and action stands out sharply, despite good performances by Edward G. Robinson, Judith Anderson, Allene Roberts, Lon McCallister and others.
Film has a simple, rustic quality in scripting, setting and characterization.
Pic, however, is built on a single thread, and takes too long in getting to its climax. It ends on something of a macabre note, and throughout it has several false touches – a muscle-brained young woodsman being in possession of $750; entrusting the money to a flighty girl to buy him a bond with it, etc.
Robinson has supplied himself with a fat part that suits his talents and to which he gives his best efforts. He’s cast as a farmer, living with a sister and an adopted daughter in an isolated area of a small community, further withdrawn from the community by his strange, gloomy moods. Part of his property is a wooded area to which no one can go; the farmer even employs a young woodsman to keep trespassers out by gunfire if necessary. A young hired hand comes to work on the farm, is intrigued by the wooded area, and enters it, to meet with several mishaps.