Genre: Horror, Mystery & Suspense
Runtime: 75 Minutes
Nowhere near scary by today’s horror standards, but this campy little late classic is still wonderful to watch. It has a niece simple, but robust set-up and although not scary, quite chilling in some place. Looking at it now, over 50 years later, it is more like a history learning experience. It is interesting to imagine shrieking women in the cinema a film’s like this. “House on Haunted Hill” is still a fairly great horror classic that will be remembered for having a ghoulish and haunting theme.
Fredrick Loren (Vincent Price) a sinister gent (and millionaire) resides in a haunted mansion on a haunted hill was many murders have occurred. He makes a proposal to several strangers, offering $10,000 to anyone who can last the entire night. Loren festively gives each of his guests a tiny coffin containing a loaded handgun, designed to protect them from the spooks that emerge in the house over the course of the night.
We get to see Vincent Price in a dashingly creepy role who is definitely who makes the film memorable. The acting was great from Price and co. and they deserve some merit. Obviously, Price towers over them all with his skilful mannerisms and auteur. The film is packed with classic little scares which gives it it’s little cult status. We get a very eerie presence of the haunted house that gives the film a campy but haunting feel.
What is interesting about the film is the date of its creation. It is one of the last great horror classics of the 50’s and feels amazingly low budget. It even feels beneath its time for a 1958 film. Again, it is what gives it some minor cult status. The ending is great and is quite memorable due to Price's performance.
Of course, by today's’ standards, it is not that scary, or thrilling, but at times, it is still quite haunting, and very entertaining. “House on Haunted Hill” is filled with classic cliché’s of horror making it something of a cult classic. This is my second viewing and it is still deliciously campy. It may not scare the living daylights out of you, but you may get slightly haunted with the presence it carries and will in no doubt entertain you.
My Rating: 8/10