Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Movie #263: House on Haunted Hill

House on Haunted Hill is a 1959 horror movie starring Vincent Price, Carol Ohmart, Richard Long, Alan Marshal, Carolyn Craig, Elisha Cook Jr., and Julie Mitchum. It's...not quite as exciting as the last Price movie I watched.

Starting off with a couple of floating heads (Cook and Price) giving us some exposition about how this house has a bunch of ghosts and OMG SCARY, we discover that Frederick Loren (Price) has invited six people to the house. If they can spend the whole night, he'll give them $10,000 each. His wife (Ohmart) is the one who had the idea, but she wanted a real party, not this weird experiment.

But it turns out that husband and wife hate each other (she's his fourth wife, and the others all died young). She wants his money, he wants her gone. So the whole evening is a big game of double-cross. The two young guests, a pilot and a secretary (Long and Craig, respectively) pair off and flirt, but then she starts seeing ghosts. Meanwhile the psychiatrist (Marshal) just wants to prove this is all about hysteria...but he, in fact, is Mrs. Loren's lover, and is gaslighting the secretary with the Mrs.' help to get her to shoot Loren, but in the end, both he and the Mrs. wind up taking an acid bath.

It's all very contrived, and the scares, such as they are, are few and far between. Price is good, and the chemistry with Ohmart isn't terrible, but the rest of the cast is pretty forgettable and the ending of the movie is just weird.

My grade: C
Rewatch value: Low

Next up: House on Haunted Hill (1999)