Haunted house movies

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Snarky's Ghost, Aug 8, 2017.

  1. Snarky's Ghost

    Snarky's Ghost Soap Chat Oracle

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    William Castle's HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL (1959) has all of the right elements to make up a nifty haunted house movie, and yet none of them at all.

    And it's certainly not to be confused with any number of similarly titled pictures (or their remakes) like HOUSE ON TELEGRAPH HILL, THE LEGEND OF HELL HOUSE, or, Jesus knows, the 1963 original THE HAUNTING (of Hill House) among many, many others.

    But in this one, HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL, an eccentric millionaire pays a group of people he's never met before $50,000 to spend one night in a mansion with a murder laden history.

    The cast is actually quite good -- Vincent Price is, of course, the eccentric millionaire; Carol Ohmart (who could be Meryl Streep's mother if you see her in SPIDER BABY from 1964) is his wife, Annabelle, the couple convinced that each is trying to kill the other in what might be a kinky game of homicidal slap-and-tickle; Nora Manning (played by Carolyn Craig, a terrific screamer and someone who was murdered in real life) a low-level employee of Price whom he's never seen; Richard Long as the down-to-earth Lance Schroeder; Ruth Bridgers (Julie Mitchum) is a columnist with a gambling addiction; and Elisha Cook Jr. as Watson Pritchard, the group's token drunk who waxes on at the drop of a disembodied head about how many murders have occurred in the mansion and how none of the guests have a chance of surviving the night once the ghosts start coming for them.

    The only weak link -- and he almost kills the entire thing, as it were -- is Alan Marshal as Dr. David Trent, a psychiatrist studying "hysteria." The actor's a stiff, and all any William Castle movie needs is a cast member as inert as the script.

    [​IMG]

    They all get party favors in the form of guns in tiny coffins, they wander from room to room learning who once got murder in each one, they mosey through the basement where a vat of acid still bubbles beneath the floor, and there's thunder and lightning, too, usually accompanied by one of Nora's impassioned screams.

    And there are two creepy housekeepers, Jonas Slydes and his wife who looks just like my mother does now, inside and out:

    [​IMG]

    The end of movie makes no sense at all, and as the closing credits roll you realize you've seen absolutely no ghosts, that the characters have experienced no symptoms of ghosts being there whatsoever, yet Elisha Cook assures us it's the only truly haunted house in the world.

    Spoooooooooky.
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2017
  2. darkshadows38

    darkshadows38 Soap Chat Fan

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    funny i was just about to post that one. honestly i LOVE the remake and while most remakes are utter shit that one is one of my favorites. did anyone mention The Haunting of Hell house" ? and oldie from (1973)
     
  3. Snarky's Ghost

    Snarky's Ghost Soap Chat Oracle

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    It's only mentioned in the very last post. But no one's discussed it yet.
     
  4. darkshadows38

    darkshadows38 Soap Chat Fan

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    ahh good. as for the Original house on haunted hill you are right there are no real ghosts but here is the thing i think that it was implied and that Price's wife though she wasn't a ghost at all was suppose to be one hence a ghost. and honestly let's face it, it's got the perfect ending to a great film.
     
  5. Snarky's Ghost

    Snarky's Ghost Soap Chat Oracle

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    Errrrrrmmmmmmm.....
     
  6. darkshadows38

    darkshadows38 Soap Chat Fan

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    it's a B movie from the late 50's with a low budget what do ya expect from a film from that era ya know?
     
  7. Snarky's Ghost

    Snarky's Ghost Soap Chat Oracle

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    Now what would this scene be a metaphor for -- beginning around 02:00 ?

     
  8. Snarky's Ghost

    Snarky's Ghost Soap Chat Oracle

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    I'm not entirely sure if this qualifies as a haunted house movie or not, but not seen for decades and long-considered the holy grail for horror fans is THE GHOST OF SIERRA DE COBRE (1964) originally shot as a TV pilot by Joseph Stefano (PSYCHO's screenwriter), rejected by network executives for being "too scary" and the only known copy in existence in the hands of recently-deceased Martin Landau, is finally being released on DVD and Blu-ray October 30th.

    Former kids (mostly outside of the U.S.) who saw it on TV in the '60s have often described it as the scariest thing they ever saw, and they never forgot it.


    [​IMG]
     
  9. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson drilling for soap

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    I watched this movie today. I'm afraid the house did nothing for me (the garden scenes were the best) but the child actors were very good.

    "Kiss me, Miss Giddens" - now that was quite peculiar!
     
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  10. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson drilling for soap

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    I think the house should be the star of the haunted house movie genre. It should be about evil energy, although it probably gets infected by the evil energy of humans.
    But I don't need to see ghosts or killers or whatever orchestrating those eerie events.

    Like some people are born evil, I think it's possible that a house (especially a very big and beautiful house) creates its own evil energy when its being built. A strange combination of vanity, cruelty and a taste for melodrama.
    After all, it doesn't really make sense that a human would build such a monstrosity to live in, maybe some of these houses embrace that insanity and narcissism.

    Of course I don't mean tacky movies like Paranormal Activity, no no no, it should always be a grotesque house, full of beautiful and bizarre details, strange proportions - but not too obvious. There must be "room" for questions.
     
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  11. ginnyfan

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    ^^^^^ Have you seen The Haunting (1963) ? It's the ultimate, evil, haunted house movie.

    [​IMG]
     
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