Sunday, June 2, 2013

House on Haunted Hill (1959)

Director: William Castle

Starring: Vincent Price, Carol Ohmart, Richard Long, Alan Marshal, Carolyn Craig, Elisha Cook Jr., Julie Mitchum, Leona Anderson, Howard Hoffman, Skeleton

More info: IMDb

Tagline: See it with someone with warm hands!

Plot: A millionaire offers ten thousand dollars to 5 people whom agreed to be locked in a large, spooky, rented house overnight with he and his wife.

My rating: 7/10

Will I watch it again? Yes.

This weekend it was a Vincent Price double feature at the Scorethefilm pad with this one starting the show.  It's been an awful long time since I saw this and I'd almost forgotten how much fun it is.  The dialogue exchange between Frederick (Price) and his wife, Annabelle (Ohmart), near the start of the film is wonderfully sinister and hilarious.  The rapid, scathing jabs at each other are deliciously fun and I would love to see a movie with just these two going at each other for 90 minutes straight.  Price is a master at making anything sound great but he's perfection when he's actually given something good to recite like what he has here.  This picture could easily be lost among a gazillion like it made from the 30s-50s if it weren't for Price, Castle's direction and Robb White's hoot of a script.  The cast perform their parts with all seriousness (Cook had me in stitches at just about every turn), if not too much so.  I'd forgotten who the killer was and everything having to do with the ending so I was surprised at how it went down.  It's an awful lot of fun and a great cap to what would otherwise be a silly little horror film.  It's still goofy but I thoroughly enjoyed it.

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