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House On Haunted Hill  [DVD]
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Wealthy Frederick Loren and his wife invite five people to spend a night in a haunted house. Whoever manages the feat will receive $10,000, but collecting the money isn t as easy as it seems...
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The film is very atmospheric, with some very genuine scary moments. Perhaps a little dull compared to the recent remake but in my own opinion,very much the superior.
Vincert Price offers a very dry and menacing performance as to his more usual "Camp" character. Carolyn Craig playing the
female lead is convicing as her character swings from screaming terror to anger. Fine perfomances are provided from the rest of the cast; though it must be said that Richard Longs portral of the square jawed hero may seem out of place to contempory viewers.
That said the copy I recieved was not the best.There is a small warning on the back of the packaging stating that due to the digital transfer process "some quality may have been lost".
This was very much the case in my copy as not only did the print seem blurred,the sound track was slightly out of sync giving a very poor viewing experience.
While highly recommending the acual film, I would avoid this dvd and instead recommend the dvd edition by GMVS Entertainment.
An altogether better sound and print quality also available from Amazon.
"The House on Haunted Hill" is one of those rare horror movies that seems as fresh as if it were made yesterday. The script is clever, the acting is solid, and while the direction is a bit on the hammy side, the plot is clever enough to keep viewers riveted until the final twist. It's horror, myster and dark comedy all in one.
Frederick Loren (Vincent Price) decides to host a macabre birthday party for his devious wife Annabelle (Carol Ohmart), in the "House on Haunted Hill." He invites a test pilot, a columnist, a secretary and the house's unbalanced owner, and offers each one ten thousand dollars if they stay all night. Chandeliers fall, doors slam shut, and they get to see the wine vat full of acid.
But as the night goes on, poor Nora Manning (Carolyn Craig) begins to see specters and rotted heads. The others think she's hysterical -- until Annabelle is found hanging in the hallway, dead. The unfortunate guests start to suspect that Loren brought them there to murder them (except for the owner, who blames ghosts). But the truth is far more complex and sinister....
William Castle made a lot of slightly kitschy horror movies like "13 Ghosts" and "The Tingler," but this clever twist on haunted-house movies is probably his best work ever. Okay, that dancing skeleton is unintentionally funny, as is the gliding crone. But most of the time, it provides some in-your-face chills and great work from Price.
This movie has solid dialogue ("Do you remember the fun we had when you poisoned me?") and some truly wicked exchanges between Price and Ohmart, as spouses who completely loathe one another.Read more ›
1 star for the Elstree Hill Disc
5 stars for the recolourised E1 Entertainment release.
Hence the average of 3 stars.
This is a great little locked house mystery, starring Vincent Price at his aloof, commanding and darkly comic best.
A miscellany of people have been invited by Price to spend the night at his haunted house. Whoever can last the night will win a cash prize. But not all is as it seems, and there are some darker motives at play.
What followsis a decent little mystery, as various supernatural events lead to a death. The rest of the cast have until morning to work out how to save themselves...
It's a solid little story, bolstered by a classic performance from the ever reliable Price, and an excellent script with a killer of a twist at the end. It nicely builds up the suspense and all in all is a decent late fifties horror film. Certainly far superior to the recent remake!
Having said all that, this release from Elstree Hill is truly shocking. The print is awful, grainy, pixellated and generally in very poor condition. No matter how much you like the film, avoid this horrible copy. 1 star for the Elstree Hill DVD
This review has also been posted on the 2009 colourised edition from E1 Entertainment. This version is far superior to any other I have seen. The colouriasation is OK, and the restoration of the print and sound immaculate. I would have preferred to have both restored colour and B/W versions in the package, as the R1 release does, as I think the B/W has a little more atmosphere, but that is a minor gripe. Whichever way you get it, the restored version is ina different league to the Elstree Hill shocker. 5 stars for the E1 Entertainment colourised version.
This one is rather a waste of time to be totally frank. Fun for a few minutes but the movie looks so much better in black and white. I only purchased it as I was led to believe - like the America edition - there were two versions on the disk. Well there aren't !!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This another great old classic Black &White horror film, and I recommend to all horror fans, the packaging and delivery was first class.