Cast: Vincent Price, Carol Omhart,Richard Long
Writer: Robb White
Director: William Castle.
It is a kind of shame not being able to experience something like this on the big screen. Because if I have, I might have enjoyed this a little bit more. That’s not to say I was disappointed in this. It was enjoyable, but it isn’t something I would want to revisit anytime soon. However if they put this back in theaters and showed it the way it was back in 1959. I would gladly pay over ten dollars to check it out and would go back and bring
The story is easy enough to understand. Frederick Loren(Vincent Price) invites five people to spend the night at his haunted house for his wife’s birthday. If each person can stay the entire night, they will all win ten thousand dollars a piece. As the night progresses some will have claim to have seen ghosts while others will become suspects of an actual murder plot.
The whole enjoyment for me was solving the mystery as it progresses. It’s a tad predictable but I sure had fun regardless of the outcome. The movie did manage to throw in some surprises in the story that even I was not suspecting. So I gotta give them some credit for that. The only thing they could have improved on were the scares. As you can see from the below picture. This is as gruesome of a monster you will see in this entire movie. Oh and get this, it’s not even a ghost. I won’t tell you who it actually is, but when you find out. You’ll go back to that scene and ask yourself why was it making that face. There were a few other moments that I’m guessing were suppose to bring scares to the audience, but it brought nothing to me. This is why seeing it in a theater would have changed my perspective of it greatly.
There is one moment near the end that shows a skeleton chasing after someone on-screen. When this happens, an actual skeleton appears in the theater being pulled by a wire. From today’s standard this might appear to be a little hokey, but with the right audience this could also be a lot of fun. Theaters today could add in even more cheap scares to help living the place up a little if this was shown today. It reminded me of seeing “Grindhouse” in the theaters versus seeing it at home. Now I saw that movie with friends when it came out, and had an absolute blast. So much that I went back and saw it two more times. I have shown this movie to other friends at home and they liked it. But it just didn’t have the same type of appeal that it did when it played in the cinemas. Now some may argue that this could be said about every movie made, but not every movie can be called an experience. “Gravity” for example is an experience. I don’t think you could have the same enjoyment watching that movie at home as you would the big screen. I don’t care how large your screen is or how good your sound is. This is why many older movies get rereleased on the big screen because we want to relive the experience all over again. As much as something like the “Fast and Furious” franchise manages to cash in and make a lot of great sequels. I don’t think you will see the first one being repackaged and put out to screens again. “The House on Haunted Hill” however is something I could see being played around Halloween and if they marketed it right. It could be a fun midnight hit. It would also be fun if other movies incorporated live scare into their shows. Imagine how cool it would be if in “The Conjuring” random people stood behind someone and clapped right after that one key scene.
Would you watch this in theaters if they added the same elements they did back in the 50’s? Is the remake from 1999 worth checking out. Please leave comments below. Thank You.