Directed by William Castle
Written by Robb White
Starring: Vincent Price, Carol Ohmart, and Richard Long
Eccentric millionaire, Fredrick Loren and his 4th wife, Annabelle, have invited 5 people to the house on Haunted Hill for a “haunted House” party.
Would ten grand convince you to attend a stranger’s birthday party at a haunted house? Yeah, I probably would too. It’s hard to beat some of these ancient classics. 1959 movie making required skill in storytelling since there was no magical CG to tell the tale for them, and that’s exactly what Castle, White, and the actors do here. The mysterious circumstance is punctuated with the creepy location and it serves as the skeleton of the film. If Vincent Price isn’t enough to convince you, maybe my kind words will.
This is available to watch instantly on Netflix, so turn the lights out and go back to another era of horror. Price could have delivered a day old pizza with tact and skill. House on Haunted Hill is another example of his macabre talent. He’s perfect as the titular party host, revealing behind closed doors that he and his estranged wife aren’t living the dream of wedded bliss. None of the party guests know each other and that provides a legitimate backdrop for the unfolding mystery in this “haunted: house. Atmosphere is everything here. The interior shots are full of shadow and lurking fear, providing the guests and the viewer much to be trepidation about.
The movie is filled with the finest effects 1959 had to offer. Disembodied heads, bizarre apparitions that seems to hover above the floor, and upwardly mobile skeletons more than get the job done. Throw in the hysterically screaming guest, a series of awesome plots twists, and you have a great old school horror movie; one that stands the test of time well. The run time is less than 90 minutes, so there is no reason to not add this to your Halloween season movie queue. Get to it before you become acquainted with the acid pool. I think all homes in the 50’s came standard with such features…