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The Legend of Hell House

The Legend of Hell House (1973)


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Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 2
Fresh: 0 | Rotten: 2



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Average Rating: 3.3/5
User Ratings: 6,023

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Movie Info

Richard Matheson adapted the screenplay of The Legend of Hell House from his own novel. In the tradition of Shirley Jackson's Haunting of Hill House, four people with alleged extrasensory powers are called upon to spend a weekend in a supposedly haunted house, to either prove or disprove the presence of ghosts. Roddy McDowall has been in the house before, and refuses to treat the possibility of paranormal activity lightly; scientist Clive Revill believes that he can trace the happenings to


Horror, Art House & International, Classics

Richard Matheson

Sep 4, 2001


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All Critics (18) | Top Critics (3) | Fresh (9) | Rotten (8) | DVD (14)

Richard Matheson's disappointing adaptation of his own rather disappointing novel.

February 9, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

If John Hough, the director, and his small, willing cast maintain mild tension during their harried visit to this haunted 'hell house,' the few chills they provide are of little help.

May 9, 2005 Full Review Source: New York Times | Comment (1)
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The last-act revelation is a let-down and even somewhat silly, but this remains a top-tier ghost movie, thanks mostly to director John Hough, who privileges atmosphere over logic.

September 4, 2014 Full Review Source: Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)

Fans of "The Legend of Hell House" and haunted house stories in general should have no qualms about picking up a copy. Recommended.

August 27, 2014 Full Review Source:

This intelligent, creepy and disturbing horror film preys upon the most primal aversions to discomposure and the paranormal that even the most staunch realists among us harbor, but hide.

August 27, 2014 Full Review Source: PopMatters

A haunted house movie with a kinky twist. May feel slow to those accustomed to the hyper horror movies of today.

August 26, 2014 Full Review Source: Aisle Seat
Aisle Seat

John Hough does a fine job with the things-that-go-bump-in-the-night aspects of the material, he fails to breathe any life into Richard Matheson's woefully underdeveloped screenplay, which he adapted from his own novel.

December 10, 2007 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Incredibly flat-footed haunted house opus with even flatter ending.

August 21, 2003
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Shows how a creepy and effective story can be told with a single setting, a cast of no more than half a dozen characters, and a minimum of special effects

March 19, 2003 Full Review Source:

...a classic spook-house story, with all the ingredients: a scary old mansion, seances in the dark, ectoplasmic manifestations, and things that go bump in the night.

October 22, 2001
Movie Metropolis

Classic ghost story inspires as many yawns as it does chills.

September 26, 2001 Full Review Source: Apollo Guide
Apollo Guide

Audience Reviews for The Legend of Hell House

Atmospheric chiller about a group of paranormal investigators who seek to find out the truth behind the hauntings of a mansion in rural England. Solid haunted house movie, creepy and with an ever-present sinister atmosphere. The major downside was that there were no scares, no jumpy moments and I was never having to watch it through my fingers in fear. It's a worthwhile watch though.
June 14, 2011
Lee ?

Super Reviewer

Classic but campy 70's horror with a bit of a twist. Delightfully dated for those seeking something nostalgic, Gothic and British.
January 30, 2011
Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer

A cool horror movie sort of like the Haunting, but 70s style, with more gore. I really liked this movie.
December 30, 2010

Super Reviewer

An old man puts a pair of psychics along with a skeptical scientist and his wife in a haunted house in order to prove that there is an afterlife, or to cleanse the house of evil spirits or something. The house in question is "Hell House", a place where thousands of murders have occurred as well as countless acts of bestiality and "vampirism", among other horrors. The film attempts to employ the same techniques used in 1963's "The Haunting" (The Haunting used atmosphere to generate a fear of the unknown), but unlike that film, Hell House fails to generate any suspense. It does, however generate a few laughs, especially when a possessed black cat attacks a woman, leaping at her throat repeatedly, and she slaps an obviously stuffed cat to the floor. Roddy McDowall commits to some serious over-acting in his role as a psychic who's previous experiences in the house have left him mentally unbalanced. The house itself isn't much of a terror: some doors slam shut, some winds kick up and blow things over, and one of the psychics speaks in a funny possessed voice before she's attacked by the scary house cat. The director tries some experimental camera angles, but far from creating terror, these camera angles seem to make the movie even less scary. At one point, I wanted to shut the movie off, not out of fear, but out of sheer boredom. The challenge of Hell House is making it all the way through the picture.
April 1, 2009
Mr Awesome
Devon Bott

Super Reviewer

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