House on Haunted Hill (1959)

Director:House.on.Haunted.Hill.1959

William Castle

Writer:

Robb White

Cast:

Vincent Price – Frederick Loren
Carol Ohmart – Annabelle Loren
Richard Long – Lance Schroeder
Alan Marshal – Dr. David Trent
Carolyn Craig – Nora Manning
Elisha Cook Jr. – Watson Pritchard
Julie Mitchum – Ruth Bridgers
Leona Anderson – Mrs. Slydes
Howard Hoffman – Jonas

 

I decided that after all of the movies that I had been watching lately that I should go back to some of the classics. Honestly I am really thankful that Netflix has this one on instant streaming because I had never seen it before. I thought it would be a lot of fun, got to love some of the old campiness of the black and white horror films.

The movie does something right off the bat though that I really don’t like. That is the telling the viewer what is going on instead of showing them, the needless monologs are only talked about again at length not ten minutes later. The whole thing is about this very wealthy couple who have invited a group of people to a mansion to spend the night. They are to be paid $10,000 if they stay the night in this haunted house; they aren’t given the option to leave though because the place locked down at midnight.

The big part of this movie comes down to character interaction, not some crazy plot points or action scenes. Mr. Loren and Annabelle are the rich couple and they clearly have a very antagonistic relationship, apparently she even tried to poison him at some point. The rest of the cast don’t know each other at all thought two people group up rather fast. One of those people is Nora who the story really seems to focus on because she is the one who keeps seeing things throughout the movie.

There is really no blood (can’t be surprising due to the age of the movie). There is a rather large pit of acid that does come into play but nothing graphic is shown. In fact there are very few deaths in this movie, something I know they changed in the remake. It’s actually rather nice to have a change of pace. If you are looking for a decent body count you really are looking in the wrong place. In fact if you are looking for any gore, a musical score that is above average or nudity you are looking in the wrong place.

Where this movie really shines is Vincent Price. He really is one of those actors that will always be amazing in my eyes. Watching him in this movie really bout a smile to my face because he was such a great character actor and there are very few in the genre who could ever get close to him in my opinion. The rest of the cast is good don’t get me wrong but if you watch this movie is should be for him.

Sadly I don’t think this movie is worth much of watch if you don’t have Netflix. It can be a very predictable movie once it gets going and it was really only enjoyable for me because of Mr. Price. If you are a fan of his work than you most likely have already seen it, if you haven’t seen much of his work I would look elsewhere first.

Grade C

Grade C

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