"This is what she used on my brother and her sister...Hacked 'em to pieces. We found parts of the bodies scattered all over the house. Funny thing is, the heads were never found. Hands, feet...things like that, but no heads."--Watson Pritchard (Elisha Cook Jr.) after pulling a knife out of a drawer and brandishing it at the other guests "You mean there's two heads just floating around here'"--Lance Schroeder (Richard Long) "You can hear them at night; they whisper to each other."
Description by OLDIES.com:
"The ghosts are moving tonight...restless, hungry..." Eccentric millionaire Frederick Loren (Vincent Price) invites five seemingly random strangers to a macabre party in a legendary haunted mansion hosted by his wife, Annabelle (Carol Ohmart). The guests will each receive $10,000 if they agree to spend a night in the house - and survive! The partygoers, armed with handguns that are presented as party favors, are forced to deal with decapitated heads in suitcases, a vat of sulfuric acid in the basement and the discovery of Annabelle hanging from the rafters with a noose around her neck. The night is filled with terror, shocks and unexpected twists. House on Haunted Hill is a highly inventive and unnerving horror cult classic that combines Vincent Price's menacingly suave persona with the renowned flamboyance of producer/director William Castle. Price delivers one of his most sinister performances, a tour de force of tongue-in-cheek evil. During its initial release, Castle, possessing a remarkable knack for gimmicks, rigged the theaters with a skeleton that flew out from the screen and over audiences' heads. Von Dexter's eerie music score creates a nervous tension broken by sudden bloodcurdling screams.
Vincent Price has one of his juiciest roles in this haunted-house thriller as millionaire playboy Frederick Loren, who invites five guests out to a genuine haunted house, offering them each $10,000 if they spend the night. Elisha Cook Jr. plays one of the guests, a nervous alcoholic who has been in this house before and witnessed some terrible things. Mr. Loren's beautiful but treacherous wife (Carol Ohmart) is also present--and might be out to kill Frederick during the course of the evening; then again, he might be out to kill her. Severed heads, a skeleton, an acid vat, ghostly screams, and a noose that creeps around on its own and strangles unsuspecting victims are just some of the treats in a film that has been spooking delighted audiences on late-night TV for decades. Producer-director William Castle (THE TINGLER) claimed this was filmed in a process called Emergo, which meant that at a key moment a glow-in-the-dark skeleton on a wire was rigged to sail over the audience's heads. The skeleton is long since gone, but the goofy thrills remain in this classic tale, from a script by Robb White.
The House on Haunted Hill
Movie Lover: Vincent from
Bronx, NY US -- August, 10, 2009
I saw this movie as a kid in the theater. I enjoyed it then, had seen it several times on TV, bought the DVD and still enjoy it. It's not as vicious as the remake, but that's what makes it so great--it's pure 1950s-like horror and that just can't be beat.
Wonderful, Creepy, Screams
Movie Lover: Spencer Koelle from
Media, PA US -- August, 2, 2006
This is without a doubt a classic. I'm amazed that this thing hasn't been jacked up into the 15s or 20s. This is an ideal house horror mystery. We have all sorts of paranormal plot points, the chandellier falling, the flickering lights, the haggered specter, the head, all wonderfully horrible. There are a few week points. The narratives are kinda corny, and some characters just don't seem to contribute. The drunk mainly murmurs about ghosts without doing anything for the plot, and after the old lady is "marked" she seems to have little or no stage action whatsoever. People could act then, and did. The faces, the face of timid dumb horror, and most of all the perfect screams, high, trilling, not shouts but real screams.
In the end, I wonder ***WARNING SPOILER***
* Are the ghosts actually real? Who planned the chandellier falling? What about the light flickers? How much does the drunk know of what he's talking about?
ONE OF THE BEST AND MUST HAVES!!
Movie Lover: Jonah from
SYRACUSE, NY US -- January, 10, 2006
THIS IS A GREAT VINCENT PRICE MOVIE, BUT I HAVE YET TO SEE ANY BADS VINCENT PRICE FLICKS! BY FAR THE BEST HAUNTED HOUSE MOVIE OF ALL TIME!! IF YOU HAVE NOT YET SEEN IT YOU HAVE BEEN MISSING OUT. THE SPECIAL EFFECTS ARE NOT 21ST CENTUARY, BUT I FEEL THAT ADDS TO THE MOVIE!
Movie Lover: Kevinmoviebuff from
England -- July, 24, 2004
This is the best version of 'House On Haunted Hill' released on DVD, and for $6 you can't go wrong! Excellent!
Sorta scary, but kinda funny.
Movie Lover: Jack Hoffman from
Normal, Illinois -- June, 19, 2004
From the opening shot, this film took off as sort of a more humorous horror flick. Although it wasn't the filmaker's intent, the movie's stange, unique style of story-telling made me laugh through many of what were meant to be the more scarier scenes. Other viewers that may be more easily jittered may find the movie more fear envoking, though. Either way you view this timeless classic, "House on Haunted Hill" gives off pure entertainment from its specifically Vincent Price mystique.
house on haunted hill
Movie Lover: jennifer smith from
ona, WV US -- May, 6, 2004
this film offers the viewer a good horror flick, that is clean and safe for the whole family to watch. i give it two thumbs up.
A Creepy Castle Classic
Movie Lover: Film Flops Critic from
Trumbull, CT US -- January, 9, 2004
A good cast, good direction, a story of betrayal, murder and revenge...what more can one ask for, besides Vincent Price? This movie is well-paced, has a few scary moments and is just plain fun. Make a couple of bowls of popcorn and turn out the lights! Alpha Video's DVD version is crisp and clear (in living black and white,just like the original!)and makes for a good viewing experience.
Film Collectors & Archivists: Alpha Video is actively looking for rare and
unusual pre-1943 motion pictures, in good condition, from Monogram, PRC,
Tiffany, Chesterfield, and other independent studios for release on DVD. We
are also interested in TV shows from the early 1950s. Share your passion
for films with a large audience.
Let us know what you have.