Stylistically containing many of the elements of a film noir, this dark, brooding psychological drama deals with a murder committed long ago, which profoundly effects the characters in the present. Pete Morgan’s (Edward G. Robinson) troubling devotion to his adopted daughter, Meg (Allene Roberts) is brought to a head when young Nate Storm (Lon McCallister) comes to work at his farm. Pete warns Nate not to go through the woods at night. The mystery of the woods and Pete’s repeated warnings to avoid the Red House, draws Meg into the woods to find the Red House where she breaks her leg after being shot at by Teller (Rory Calhoun), whom Pete has instructed to shoot anyone approaching the house. When Pete’s sister, Ellen (Judith Anderson) is shot and killed trying to aid Meg, suspicion falls on Pete. When Meg is unwittingly lured to the Red House by Pete with the promise of revealing her past, she learns that Pete had killed her mother out of obsessive love. Nate arrives with the sheriff just in time to revive the unconscious Meg as Pete drowns when he tries to ram the house with his car, which submerges in water. The subtle underlying sexual tensions feeding Pete’s obsessive love is effectively handled by the excellent acting of Allene Roberts.