Blog Archives

House on Haunted Hill (1959)

House on Haunted Hill Poster 2

House on Haunted Hill (1959)

To me, old black and white horror movies are much more entertaining than the majority of the horror movies that get made in this day and age.  What I like most about the classics is that they rely mostly on the story, how it is told, and where it is taking place in order to try to frighten the viewers.  Special effects hardly existed in the days of black and white movies, so filmmakers had to get their thrills with a chilling storyline instead of just blood and guts.  House on Haunted Hill is a perfect example of what I’m talking about.

House on Haunted Hill Price Ohmart

The film is about an eccentric millionaire (Vincent Price) who invites 5 people to a spooky overnight party with him and his wife in a rented mansion that is rumored to be haunted.  He offers each person ten thousand dollars if they can live through the night in the locked house.

The movie was directed by William Castle and the rest of the noteworthy cast includes Carol Ohmart, Richard Long, Carolyn Craig, Alan Marshal, Elisha Cook Jr., and Julie Mitchum.

House on Haunted Hill party

The film sets the mood nicely with a creepy character introduction and narration by Price as the guests are headed to the haunted party on the hill.

It is movies like this one that helped to start the horror movie genre.  This is one of the classics.  It is one of the originals.  How many hundreds of movies have been released in recent years that take place in a haunted house?  There are too many to count.  Movies like House on Haunted Hill helped to pave the way for what a haunted house movie should be.

The film is full of spooky music, mysterious characters, and wonderful dialogue. There are excellent shadow affects in the movie that you can only get in a black and white film.  There are slamming doors, falling chandeliers, and creaky floor boards.  There are horrifying visuals and people screaming.  The picture is painted so well for us that you can almost smell death in the air.  All of these little attributes contribute to making House on Haunted Hill a true horror classic.

House on Haunted Hill Caretakers

The entertainment is in the storytelling.  If you enjoy classic films and you like a good ghost story, then this is the movie for you.  For its time, it is a great movie.

I rate this movie a 9 on a scale of 1-10.

Buy, rent, or run?  Buy.