Thursday, October 27, 2022

House On Haunted Hill

Can you believe I haven't done this one yet?

I've seen this film a good handful of times in the past even before I started reviewing films so it came as a shock to know we haven't visited the House on Haunted Hill. Nothing short of just good old fashioned classic horror in my opinion, where Vincent Price plays a rich socialite and invites five guests to a haunted house he's rented and will give each individual $10,000 to spend the night. As he so eloquently puts it, "There'll be food, drink, and ghosts, and perhaps even a few murders.", and if Vincent Price invited me to that, which honestly sounds like a regular evening at his home (seriously the man was a great lover of culinary arts, fine alcohol, and horror as a genre and by God I miss him everyday), even for $10,000 which in today's money is about $100,000 I couldn't fathom saying no. The house itself on the outside is a marvel of architecture, and though it was built in 1924 and showcased here in 1959 it honestly looks like it was built 10 years ago today, but on the inside it's a proper old dark mansion with candles, chandeliers, creaking doors, and cobwebs which we get familiar with quickly. The film kinda gave me Clue vibes where a group of people traverse to a mansion and are presented weapons before getting embroiled in a murder. You would almost suspect the movie to be a proto-slasher film where several people get bumped off, and honestly the film goes in several different directions than just spooky house thrills and chills the guests. Though I do feel sorry for Nora in this movie, it's a flat out drinking game honestly, take a shot everytime this poor lady is left on her own and take another shot for every incident that scares her, and if you wanna go that extra mile take an additional shot every time she screams. Fan-flippin'-tastic screamer by the by that Carolyn Craig, and the same goes for Carol Ohmart! Elisha Cook is just that right kind of forebodingly creepy and yet humorous as he constanrly hammers away at all the terrible things that have occured at the house. I don't need to say jack or shit about Vincent Price in this movie, true he isn't in top malevolent or tortured acting range but he's just the master of horror, the titan of terror, the thrill in thriller, and the dialogue he has with Carol Ohmart is a highlight. I doubt I need to explain the literal skeleton in the room, but for those uninitiated William Castle the director was a great showman and incorporated gimmicks into his films, with this movie he had a glow in the dark skeleton swing around the theater while the climax of the movie played, and man I would just love to experience a midnight spook show in this day and age though a bygone relic it still is. Even after all this time the movie still has good atmosphere, creepy use of sound effects, and is a wonderful film to watch if you got some other classic horror fans in for a 50s movie marathon one night. I had a great time with it, and it just goes to show it doesn't always have to be a bloodfest or a high special effects horror movie to be enjoyed. I give it 3.5 stars, 8/10, and this dear ones closes another chapter of October on this show. But never fear, we still have 4 more days till Halloween, Halloween, Halloween, 4 more days till Halloween, Silver Shamrock. It's almost time kids, the clock is ticking, be in front of your TV sets for the horrorthon on TCM and don't forget the big giveaway at 9:00. Don't miss it, and don't forget to wear your masks. The clock is ticking. It's almost time. Watch....

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