DW Griffith’s House of Darkness seemed to be the first type of ‘thriller’ film. The 1913 short follows an escapee of an insane asylum. The man may be violent, which adds to the tension throughout. This film is the first exploration into the idea of insanity, which, at the time of production, was considered scary, and it was thought that those who were mentally unstable could not be helped, so they should be locked away. Griffith’s story hopes to shed light on the fact that this could happen to anyone, and even hints at the possibilies of a cure At the film’s end, the protagonist is helped with music; a primitive idea, but one that was not completely incorrect.
The House of Darkness