Saturday, August 8, 2009

The House on Haunted Hill

When I speak of this movie I do not mean the 1999 remake, I mean the 1959 original. Don't get me wrong, I actually did not mind the remake. I thought it was definitely one of the better remakes I've seen. Good casting, acting, and it followed the original almost to a T. Maybe that will be a future review but today I speak of the original. Please enjoy a plot summary below.

Millionaire playboy Fredrick Loren hosts a party for his 4th wife Annabelle Loren at the "House On Haunted Hill," a house that has seen seven murders, Fredrick invites 5 guests: Lance Schroeder,a pilot, Ruth Bridges, a journalist, Watson Prichard, the owner of The House On Haunted Hill, Nora Manning, a worker for one of Fredrick Loren's companies, and David Trent, a psychiatrist. Fredrick will offer each of them $10,000 to spend a night in The House On Haunted Hill. They all want the money. At midnight, the caretakers lock to doors, and the terror begins! Who, if anyone, will make it out alive?

I have to say this is one of my favorite movies ever! The remake was alright but the original is a horror classic that should not be missed. The movie, starring horror icon Vincent Price, is a must see for any horror fan. One of the first horror movies I can remember as a kid was the 1953 classic House of Wax, which has been replicated numerous times including a remake in which Paris Hilton is killed in extraordinary fashion. That right there makes the re-make great. But I digress.

Vincent Price is one of the biggest names to ever grace the screen in the horror genre. His name is up there with Boris Karloff & Bela Legosi as well as later horror names like Christopher Lee, and even later legends like John Carpenter, Stephen King and many others. Vincent was one of the originators of horror. He has been involved in more horror movies and television broadcasts than one can count. From movies like House on Haunted Hill and House of Wax, prior to his death being involved in cartoons that some of us grew up with. From Scooby Doo episodes in 1985 to Tiny Toon Adventures in 1991, prior to his death in 1993.

The rest of the cast is great in this movie as well. Including Richard Long who appeared in a couple Twilight Zone episodes, playing David Gurney in the episode Person or Persons Unknown and as well as Uncle Rick/Dr. Rex/Doctor Sigmond Friend in the episode Number 12 looks just like you where in your teenage years everyone is given plastic surgery to make them beautiful. You have a book to look through to see how you want to look. It's like a Fingerhut catalog of faces. You are not forced to get the surgery, its your decision, or is it?

The movie is a black and white classic for all horror fans. This is one of the movies that helped to make the entire horror movie genre. This movie helped scare the hell out of our parents before the gore-fest films we have today. But it is also a pre-cursor to the films of today as well. While there is no gore and very little blood to speak of, even though you could not tell in black and white film anyway, it is a classic that helps to bring the horror community to where we have come. This movie is my first 5 burning skull film and I definitely recommend it to a horror fan who may not have seen it or to a classic movie buff looking for a film to take them back in time.

It amazes me, a guy born in 1980, that this once scared the life out of people but between the great acting and the great story its an amazing film for anyone horror fan or not. Please enjoy the trailer below, and pleasant dreams.

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