House On Haunted Hill - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

House On Haunted Hill Reviews

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December 22, 2016
4/5. A fun and spooky little movie that only has one flaw: it ends abruptly and far too soon. Another 20 minutes and a more satisfying conclusion and this would be a 5 star film.
½ November 7, 2016
There's a good mix of camp and actual spooky atmosphere here, and this is a cult classic from a bygone era.
October 15, 2016
House On Haunted Hill is a campy and very headache confusing horror film with unexpected plot twists and Vincent Price
Jess S.
Super Reviewer
October 12, 2016
I was pleasantly reminded of the glory that is Vincent Price. Vincent Price is yet again type casted in a haunting tale. price's acting alone will have you on the edge of your seat and the jump scares are excellently surprising.
½ October 11, 2016
A small b-movie horror/ghost story, a true cult. With creepy atmosphere within the house and charismatic Vincent Price.
October 11, 2016
It didn't scare me, per se. But it was an interesting character study.
½ September 28, 2016
If Vincent Price weren't such an integral part of William Castle's "House on Haunted Hill" then maybe I'd be more open to the idea of that said central home actually being encrusted in the evilest things that go bump in the night. But because Price is so damn good at playing opportunists with an unbecoming tendency to only look out for themselves in this cruel world, more plausible is the idea that something is amiss, that the titular house only resides on a haunted hill because it was decided one day that paranormality were more attractive than suburban normality.
And we'd be right that human manipulation is more a part of "House on Haunted Hill's" summation of thrills and chills than authentic ghostliness, but because there are hints of "Double Indemnity" here and hints of "Gaslight" there, with little touches of Hammer Horror randiness, you can bet that the film is more fond of revealing the punchy tricks up its sleeve than going through the motions and hoping its audience doesn't guess its next course of action.
Since Castle is as much an energetic filmmaker as a master of the gimmick - he emphasized the scare tactics of the film's climax by releasing a hanging, plastic skeleton over the audience at the perfect time - "House on Haunted Hill" turns out to be schlock with an infectious sense of humor. It's campy macabre served with a smile, niftily made but never repugnantly cheap. We don't guffaw at the film because it's bad in the ways consumers of the now expect 1950s horror to be; we laugh because Castle is so in control of his tongue-in-cheek insanities, and the appropriate response is to revel in the twisted glee he so beautifully crafts.
Price is the cherry on top to Castle's cinematic apple pie la mode. In "House on Haunted Hill," he is Frederick Warren, an anomalous millionaire who challenges five people to stay overnight in his supposedly haunted mansion for $10,000 apiece. Because he's so certain that the grand majority will be too weak willed to make it until morning, he gives them until midnight to leave. If the clock ticks past the witching hour, all will be forced to endure the terrors of the night no matter the excuse.
Tritely, everyone stays far past the expiration date, but clear is that all goings-on are underlined in psychological calculation rather than the metaphysical. What the real motives of those goings-on, though, are to be kept secret - and only Mr. Warren, with his quippy sardonicism and his enigmatic glances, is able to reveal the truth.
But while those truths are ghastly, the ghastliness is fetching, if only because it's wrapped in such playfulness. As "House of Haunted Hill's" characters wander through their host's cobweb ridden, shadow lined humble abode, we, unabashedly, want them to run into mayhem, especially since deciphering if the mayhem is the result of someone else's cunning or is the result of something genuinely dangerous is such a convivial thing to witness. The ending is a knockout, batshit and wicked (with a hint of Scooby-Doo level spookiness), and the tilt-a-whirl ride that gets us there isn't so shabby itself.
Price, of course, is a knockout. "House on Haunted Hill" is one of his best vehicles, witnessing him at his smarmiest and his most guileful. For Castle fans, it's a must. An iconic moment in '50s horror, this is a popcorn movie with money on the brain just as intent on pleasing its audience as it is making some green. And there's nothing wrong with that, as long as the illusion that I'm being catered to is held steady. Thankfully, it is.
July 8, 2016
A classic is a classic (not perfect)
May 18, 2016
A William Castle production from 1959 Starring Vincent Price, Carol Ohmar, Richard Long, Alan Marshal, Carolyn Craig, Elisha Cook Jr., Julie Mitchum, Leona Anderson, Howard Hoffman, and the skeleton.
Millionaire Frederick Lawren has prepared a surprise birthday party for his young cheating wife.
The place he has chosen is a haunted house in the care of Watson Pritchett. Watson has only spent one night in the house and makes claim that 7 people including his brother were murdered in the house and when they found him in the morning he was almost dead.
With a creepy introduction the guests arrive in black hurses, a test pilot, an employee, a secretary, a doctor, and Watson.
Each to spend 12 hours in the house for 10,000 or next of kin if they don't survive...
With enough chills and awe of mystery of tone in shadows from a boiling vat of acid to a floating spirit and intrigue this is a tale of murder that has been a favorite of mine for years. William Castle has also been known to be a theatrical entertainer from the buzzing of seats to some of the first 3d pictures.
Ill enjoy this film to the day I die and thoroughly recommend this feature to any modern horror enthusiast!
May 15, 2016
Scary, funny and campy all rolled together to make this really enjoyable movie. As always Vincent Price is great.
April 25, 2016
Vincent Price...say no more
½ February 13, 2016
Short of a side character or two, this film doesn't have an ounce of fat. The iconic horror mastery of William Castle shines through to brilliant effect, and it still scares and thrills to this very day, 62 years later.
½ February 11, 2016
Just recently downloaded a movie app and watched the original House on Haunted Hill, haven't seen that movie in 20, 25 years. Could not remember too much about the movie, except Vincent Price and his on stage wife, Carol Ohmart, could not remember her name at all, except she was hot. There was another actress, Carolyn Craig, who throughout the movie was a screamer, she had some lines but did more screaming than anything else. I started to laugh, she did it so much, her lungs and voice got a good workout on this movie. There were two kind of a funny scenes, the first wasn't meant to be funny but Carolyn Craig went running down the hall past Vincent Price's bedroom screaming her head off, two or three seconds latter, Alan Marshal, who played a psychiatrist walks to Vincent Price's door and knocks, Price opens the door and says, did you hear something? The second funny scene was a skeleton floats out of the acid vat and chases Vincent Price's wife around the basement until she falls in the acid, a false wall opens and Price walks out wearing a contraption with thick string controlling the skeleton, actually he looked like he was getting tangled up in the string. Maybe the acid works on skin but not on string. Elijah Cook Jr was also in the movie, his lines basically were, the ghosts are all around us, they are getting closer, you never really see any ghosts, except a crazy looking old lady. Carolyn goes running upstairs screaming into the living room, everybody says what happened, she told them she saw a ghost in the basement and describes it, Vincent Price says, that's not a ghost, the caretakers wife.
½ January 5, 2016
From the POV of a horror geek looking for scares... this movie didn't have any. I can appreciate the fact that it scared the &*%$ of everyone back in the 60's, but this is one movie that time did not treat too kindly.
Vincent Price is a legend, and the story is a classic... but for younger movie goers who are to watch this today, it doesn't qualify as a horror, and will not scare you.
December 22, 2015
This movie is corny enough that it could be on MST3K but good enough that you can watch it without it. As far as old horror movies go this one is great. the story makes sense, the acting is good, and there is a nice twist ending that I honestly didn't see coming. Be prepared for annoying shrill screaming.
Super Reviewer
½ December 2, 2015
So silly and campy that it is likely to provoke more unintentional laughter than chills, given its complete disdain for realism, coherence and plausibility - like nobody able to hear a woman screaming that loud in the house or the ludicrous details involving the twist in the end.
November 22, 2015
Such a nice build up, a good cast, Vincent Price as a creepy eccentric host, that famous house in LA that's been in so many movies, a really good plot base. I really have to take umbridge with how the film progressed though, I was expecting so much more. I'm not going to spoil the ending, they do a good enough job of that themselves.
½ November 2, 2015
Slow moving, annoying screaming and ridiculous by today's standards, but still pretty creepy for 1959. Vincent Price is the master!
October 8, 2015
I gave it an extra half star because of Vincent Price. Despite the atmosphere of horror, I didn't find the movie especially scary or the mystery murder plot remotely believable.
August 27, 2015
A classic slice of campy atmospheric horror with the always brilliant Vincent Price playing his role to perfection.
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