Welcome, children of the night! This Blog is for fans of vintage horror films as well as those who are just beginning to discover the joy of these classic movies. I'd love to hear from you!

Monday, June 28, 2010

House on Haunted Hill (1959)

"Don't stay up thinking of ways to get rid of me, it makes wrinkles." says Frederick Loren to his fourth wife in this delightful haunted house story.  Vincent Price is excellent as Frederick Loren and Carol Ohmart is the perfect counterpoint as his wife Annabelle.  Their witty dialogue is both funny and sinister and makes House on Haunted Hill a joy to watch.
This is an old fashioned ghost story by legendary director William Castle.  The script is well written.  The ensemble cast is great through and through and also includes Richard Long [T.V.'s Nanny and the Professor].  The soundtrack is eerie and and establishes the perfect mood for the film.  The special effects are quite simple but not so bad that they diminish the quality of the film.
The basic plot of House on Haunted Hill is about an eccentric millionaire and his wife who invite five people to spend the night in a creepy mansion.  Those who last the night earn ten thousand dollars each.  The story line develops nicely from there and includes a few twists and turns along the way to make it interesting.  
As far as I'm concerned the 1999 remake of the film under the same name pales in comparison to the original.  Yes, they amped up the special effects and gore but that does not make up for the ridiculous script that tries to do too much as well as the acting that doesn't even come close to topping the original.
House on Haunted Hill is available as a free download [Yipee!] so that future generations can enjoy this well crafted thriller.  Great stuff!

Rating: Excellent

Download a copy of the film from Archive.org
For more info check out the film's entry in IMDB.

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