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on 10 May 2006
I fondly remembered this film from my distent childhood when along with my older brother I was allowed to sit up late and watch the horror film double bill on Saturdays.

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.
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Vincent Price. A haunted mansion house. Spooky caretakers. And a giant pile of money to any of the guests who lives through the night. What's not to love?

"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. Castle's weird sense of humor shows up in the coffin-shaped boxes, the vat of acid, and the organ playing itself.

But the most impressive aspect of "House" is that it's not just another ghosts-terrify-screaming-idiots movie. It's more of a mystery, before the crime is committed. We're never quite sure if there really are ghosts haunting the place, or if the humans are the ones who are really causing all this trouble. What's really scary is that the humans are more frightening.

Vincent Price is definitely the star here -- creepy, intelligent, debonair, and he has an acid comment for every occasion ("Don't stay up thinking of ways to get rid of me. It makes wrinkles"). Ohmart runs a close second with her seductive, devious trophy wife who openly admits that she wants to be a "lovely widow". The assorted other actors do solid jobs as well, although Craig doesn't do much except shriek periodically.

"House on Haunted Hill" is a deserving vintage horror movie -- a twisty plot, and Price at his finest. A must-see.
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This review has been posted automatically by amazon onto several different versions of this film, of very differing quality. My true star rating is:

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.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 18 October 2011
Although the US version has a restored black and white and colorised print on the disk, this version doesn't. Go for the 50th Anniversary Region One version if you can. That's a good widescreen print with excellent extras too.
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 !!
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on 11 March 2014
Im not a fan of colourised films but I have to say as far as they go this one was quite well done. It suffered most from skin tones being too dark - like everyone spent a month on the beach before shooting bit hey I turned off the colour so no worries.

Id not seen the film in years. The plot was functional and there were some nice "jumps" and shocks. The moving skeleton was a little lame but its OK for the time it was made.

Price as always is good value for money.

The print used was excellent.

Recommended for a popcorn no brain evening of fun.
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on 30 December 2007
Another great film to watch late night with all the lights turned out. I love this film, its my joint favorite Vincent Price film with the "Fall of the House of Usher" being the other. Look out for the head in the wardrobe and the old women skateboarding out of the wine cellar!!!
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on 3 March 2009
House on Haunted Hill is one of my favourite horror fun films. I bought the 50th Anniversary presentation by Raunchy Tonk because the only other copy I have is one of those awful cheap quality copies you get on those 3 old films on one DVD pack. On my 37 inch plasma this widescreen anormorphic presentation certainly looks a lot better and does the film justice. I don't know how it compares in quality with the Legend presentation that comes with the colour print, but Legend is currently Region 1 only and this is Region Free and so has distinct advantages to us living in a region 2 area. The extras are a little disappointing in that there is very little about the making of The House on Haunted Hill itself. There is no documentary. However, it does include a couple of the original theatrical trailers, one mentioning Emergo, a couple of present day shots of the house and a very brief profile of the co-star Carol Ohmart. Also included are some historic William Castle and Price film trailers lasting about 25 minutes and 45 minutes of Vincent Price TV appearances, with the likes of Jack Benny and Red Skelton, the most interesting being a Reader's Digest presentation of "The Brainwashing of John Hayes". If you've already got a good print of this film then there is probably little reason to buy this edition unless you are an avid Vincent Price fan. I give 5 stars for the film itself, because I love it, 4 stars for the video quality and 3 stars for the extras.
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on 5 June 2014
I was very pleasantly surprised at how good the Colourised version was as I am not a big fan of the process generally.

I watched it with friends who did not know the film well and they were fooled into believing it was filmed in colour and was just showing its age in terms of the quality of the colour, being a film from the 50s.

I agree with all reviews that say it is the best quality print and so if don't like the colour, do as one other reviewer has said, turn it off and you still have by far the best picture quality version.

Buy it if you love the film and only have a poor quality black and white fuzzy ersion as the price is starting to rise and it is still cheap. It really showcases Vincent Price at his very best .
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VINE VOICEon 21 March 2007
Fabulous vintage scary movie here, with some genuine 'spooky' moments! OK for those of you to watch who live in flats, but do not watch this alone if you live in a house - you won't want to go upstairs afterwards!

This movie is one of those black and white classics from the distant past that many will remember watching and will recall being scared to death as a child. One of the most memorable scenes for me, was the ghostly apparition of the old crone gliding along in the cellar with white eyes and clawing hands! Full of atmosphere and suspense with an unusual twist.

A horror classic!
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on 8 May 2015
WONDERFUL tongue-in-cheek novelty haunted-mansion horror. Top marks to Legend Films for their stunning colourisation process - just marvel at the colour detail - even miniature paintings adorning the corridors and rooms are given convincing colour. GREAT FUN!
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