House on Haunted HIll (1959) Review

director: William Castle

writer: Robb White

starring: Vincent Price

genre: Horror

Was in a little luck last weekend. Caught this horror b-movie classic on Cine+ and it so happened to fit perfectly to the Horror Αφιέρωμα and will be the last review of it. Ι wasn't really impressed by the film, was expecting a little more, but nonetheless I did enjoy the different manner of film making they had back in the 50's.


The story if you haven't guessed it already is about a haunted house. The rich Fredrick Loren (Vincent Price) and his wife have this devilish plan to invite 6 strangers into the mansion and to whoever survives the night to get 10,000 dollars each. But his plan has evil in its root and contains secrets between this rich couple. All will not be pleasant for this bunch of people trapped in House on Haunted Hill.


Back in the day when special effects were not at the forefront, innovation and lots of preparation and imagination took place to make a very good film. Things had to seem as if they were apart of the background. Blend in with the rest of the film. Today you see too much of the effects trying to stand out and in consequence look terrible and fake. Thats one of the attributes of this film that i liked so much its ability of being subtle with visual effects and going for very well creepy and scary shots that the film does pretty well.

The effects, the great performance by Vincent Price and of the rest of the cast made the film at least not be a bore. Also the story wasn't bad or steeped illogic crap. But thats were we get to the bad part. The story once it gets going it suddenly resolves too quickly. As the mystery gets thicker to who is at fault and what is really going on in the house the film is about almost over. I was scratching my head and wondering did they really think that was enough to settle the story. The sudden ending without a proper resolution to the story and really leaving us with no good hint about the happenings occurring in the house were a major letdown. A remake could do so much just on the mystery factor but the 1999 remake proved it was just a big pile of sh**.


Out of this relic i got another one of Vincent Price's great performances and an intriguing horror mystery experience that even due to its faults, wasn't boring and only was 75 minutes long. Recommended only to people curious for old horror films and to fans of the legend Vincent Price.

Personal Rating:


review by Paul Katsaros

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