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3.8 out of 5 stars13
3.8 out of 5 stars
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on 24 January 2013
This film must be the most interfered with title ever to be produced in the UK.

Viewed without any background information, it comes across as a silly, but reasonable gory ( for the late 60's anyway)and ocassionally creepy slice of Tigon exploitation.

The cast is an odd mix.
Frankie Avalon is a bit too old for a swinging teenager, and is obviously here due to AIP putting up half the money and wanting an American star.
Jill Haworth had already cut her horror teeth on 1966's IT with Roddy McDowall, and would go on to other horror titles like Tower of Evil and The Mutations.
Richard O'Sullivan was a child star, and also destined for much greater things on TV after appearing in this title.
Robin Stewart is a new face, who went on to appear in a few TV sitcoms- Bless This House, and Hammer's Legend of the Seven Golden Vampires.
Carol Dilworth was known to many as The Golden Shot girl on TV.
Old hands like Dennis Price and George Sewell populate the charachter roles.

Where it gets more interesting are the bits and pieces of odd charachter detail, the mildly homosexual flavour that runs through the script, and the shooting of some of the murders is quite graphic for the time, with Mark Wynter's being especially savage and brutal - hacked up by an unseen assailant with a large knife, and Frankie Avalon stabbed in the groin and then repeatedly hacked up as a screaming Jill Hayworth looks on.

Watching this with the writer and director commentary reveals so much about why the film looks so disjointed, and explains why there are large chunks of detail that either don't fit in with the main plot, or look filmed in a totally different style. The reason- basically, the producer in the US didn't like the original script, and took it upon himself to re-write large parts of it, and add in totally un-necessary scenes of police performing a dull investigation, and a sub-plot with an ageing lover chasing after one of the cast.

Little of the added stuff works very well, and gives the film a saggy middle-aged feel to it.
One can only imagine how good this could have been if left alone.
If the film had stuck to the original script and the original cast suggestions, ( David Bowie for the killer,) this would have been a dark and moody cult certainty.
As it stands there are snippets of the original idea, largely lost in an incoherent whole.

For all sorts of reasons it remains watchable and fun, and this print is nice and bright and with clear sound, which is an improvement on the disc brought out by Anchor Bay for the Tigon boxset a long while ago. The extra commentary is what makes it worthwhile, and there are some classic trailers of other Brit exploitation titles to savour, plus the full original script in PDF format.

All in all, not bad.
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on 13 February 2016
The Haunted House of Horror is a boring and dated horror movie from England about a group of "swinging party goers" who spend a night in an empty house for fun, only to find that a murder is committed. There are spoilers in this review, but as the film is no classic, I feel like you might as well know what you are going to be in for if you are remotely interested in seeing it.

You could imagine this film building to some kind of sustained suspense as the group arrive and begin exploring the house with candles, but once the murder is committed, the film spirals into all sorts of baffling red herrings and pointless dead ends. The group immediately decide to hush up the murder rather than call the police. Next, they all leave the house without further incident and go back to their lives. So much for the "horror"! The middle chunk of the film then shows us some very boring police investigations over the missing person, and the friends meet up to discuss what they should do - you're in for a laugh when you hear what they agree on - to go back to the house again and search it from top to bottom. Sounds reasonable enough, except that rather do it in daylight, they deem it necessary to do it in the middle of the night, and also to follow the exact same actions as they did on the night of the murder. WHY?? God knows. But off they troop again, and there is another portion of screen time allotted to creeping about with candles AGAIN, and a really dismal attempt at suspense in a ridiculous "who-is-holding-the-knife?" scene with two characters, in a scene which generates absolutely no tension at all. The film even does a double-take of a female character getting her shoe caught in the same staircase twice, adding no real dramatic effect (either time). The story isn't very strong at all. If all the action had taken place on a single night there could have been some tension but having everybody leave and then come back again a month (!) later to "solve the mystery" is ludicrous.

The film also doesn't look great. There are many day-for-night shots which look very obvious. The exterior shots of the house look like they are of a different house each time. Character seem to swap having affairs with one character to another for no reason. One of the women has a rich "sugar daddy" boyfriend who spies on her throughout the whole thing, again this has nothing to do with the rest of the story. The special effects are terrible, with blood that looks like tomato soup being smeared on the outside of people's skin or clothing to simulate shocking gore. The main entertainment comes from seeing the awful fashions of the period being liberally unleashed across the proceedings, but that alone does not make this movie worth watching! So...no chills, or thrills, and a ridiculous plot.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 10 October 2015
OK! It should be noted that the finished film is not the film that director Michael Armstrong set out to make. Pretty much taken away from him in the writing department by the producer (Deke Heyward), and on the directing front by Gerry Levy, the garbled mess that is this film should not be held against the talented Armstrong.

A bunch of young adults in swanky London get bored at a friend's house party and decide to move on to a nearby derelict house that is rumoured to be haunted. When one of them is found murdered, panic, mistrust and bad decision making ensue...

Well, a third of the film passes before the group get to the supposed haunted house of the title. Up till then we are introduced to an intriguing stalker sub-plot and an introduction to the youngsters and their way of life. Sadly, what transpires is that the stalker angle proves to be pointless, and that the house is not haunted or indeed very horrific! In fact it's quite a funky old house.

The characters just mope about and nothing much really happens, when the blood comes it just isn't enough to fulfil the patience that has been asked of the viewers. Cast are run of the mill, with Frankie Avalon badly out of place and Dennis Price as a police detective wandering in to proceedings for the easiest pay check he ever made.

As a period piece it soars. The fashions, all paisley shirts, flares, mini skirts and kipper ties, are wonderfully garish, as is the colour schemes and decoration of the houses (woodchip wallpaper - oh my!). The cars, also, are a treat for nostalgists interested in a Britain that time forgot. While in the play some will note and enjoy the phallic symbolisms and attempts at guignol malarkey.

But ultimately it's a poor film, and annoying because there are hits of what might have been. From the boring first third to the daft finale, this is another Tigon production that smells off. 4/10
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on 17 July 2012
...that this well produced rubbish would still be entertaining 40 years after the fact? In fact HAUNTED HOUSE OF HORROR (U.S. title: HORROR HOUSE) is more enjoyable now than when I saw it back in 1970 on a double bill with THE CURSE OF THE CRIMSON ALTAR (U.S. title: CRIMSON CULT). Both films were released here by American International Pictures hence the presence of Frankie Avalon. His unhip presence is no longer an issue besides the ending was designed for people who hate Frankie Avalon (I remember my friends and I cheering at the end). Seeing the clothes, hearing the music (and seeing the Frank Zappa poster) took me back to my college days which is probably why I enjoyed it so much this time around. The film is worth it as a time capsule alone. It's also fascinating to see how prophetic the film turned out to be regarding teenage horror pictures.

When I say well produced, I am referring to the fact of how well the movie plays considering everything that was done to it (check out director Michael Armstrong's commentary and read the insert that comes with the DVD). The performances are surprisingly engaging considering much of the dialogue and the lighting & the cinematography are better than they have any right to be. In 1970 I had no idea of the film's tortured history although this wasn't the first nor the last film that producer Louis "Deke" Heyward did his best to ruin. In fact the original British version is different and plays a lot better than the one I saw. This was often the case with Tigon films that AIP released stateside. So a tip of the hat to Odeon for this well done release (great picture quality and significant extras). It's certainly not the "Best of British" but they treat it like it is.
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on 24 March 2013
it was very good and scary great acting in it the best british haunted house film i have ever seen
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on 2 January 2015
I saw this movie as a teenager and still love it. I fell in love with Julian Barnes, and ney I was 13 at the time ! Well, since I have grown up and seen many changes in movie culture while it has grown much more sophisticated, this sticks with me....I now know how the movie screenplay was shredded in process of power struggles. The original screenplay called "The Dark" in its entirety is included in PDF format as a bonus feature, which adds to the completeness of this interesting tale. it is a thriller to the end and, no spoilers here just a suspenseful ride to the finish, be surprised if you never have seen this now classic. Oh, and I still have a crush on Julian Barnes:)
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on 5 December 2014
One of a number of old Hammer/Tigon classics i have been trying to obtain for years. A great copy. Flawless
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on 20 April 2016
I REALLY ENJOYED THIS LITTLE 60S MOVIE, WORTH WATCHING, JUST FOR THE ERA :-) WELL KNOWN ARTISTS TOO
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on 7 March 2013
Love this one of the old time horror movies, creepy but not to much gore, typical seventies but that's why I like it
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on 16 May 2012
I saw this on BBC2 a year or two ago because of my love for horror films and the 'swinging 60s'. Even though the story is all messed up and the acting is hammy, I have to say I do love this film as a glimpse of the London in 1968... Carnaby Street, the music, the fashion, it's all here. If you watch it as a kitsch period piece and don't take it seriously at all, you may just enjoy it. The director's commentary is worth listening to as it explains how the film was butchered by the production company and what the film was originally meant to be like. Groovy!
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