60 Days to Halloween- 1959 The House on Haunted Hill
Over the next 100 days, I will present one movie of significances in horror, suspense or thrillers for each year from 1919 to 2018. The next film presented here is the 1959 haunted house movie "The House on Haunted Hill" starring Vincent Price, Richard Long, Carolyn Craig, Alan Marshal and directed by William Castle.
House on Haunted Hill- (1958)
Dir- William Castle
William Castle is to gimmicks what John Waters is to sleaze, and his horror film The House on Haunted Hill would be one of his best. Vincent Price plays an eccentric millionaire who invites a group of people to a haunted mansion and wagers them $10,000 to spend the night. The house is rumored to have resulted in the deaths of seven people, so far. Using many of the classic haunted house tricks, we are witnessed to falling chandeliers, walls that drip blood, severed limbs, senior citizens on roller skates and a vat of acid. We later learn his reasons are meant for revenge as Price suspects he is about to be murdered by someone in the party. The real charm of the movie was its gimmick, called "Emergo"; it employed a skeleton that was released from a box at the climax and flew over the audience. "Emergo" was meant to be the ultimate in thrills, pushing beyond conventional 3-D. What is certain was that Castle did indeed turn out a great film with many scary moments and as for the gimmick. Well, I guess that is the only real letdown as you can't see the skeleton fly over your head, not on home video.