House on Haunted Hill

After a rant on reading books, I’m now going to discuss a
movie. Oh well. I’ll get to more books next week because I recently got my
hands on the old Vincent Price classic The
House on Haunted Hill
. When something is considered a classic it is usually
for one of a couple of reasons. It did it first. Pamela may not be the best novel out there, but where it stands in
history looms so large, it is worth the read. It did it, not only first, but
best. Frankenstein. No one ever did
that as well as she did. Or it took the ideas others had and did it best. This
is where The House on Haunted Hill
stands.

It is not the first story or movie about a bunch of people
trapped in a supposedly haunted mansion with someone who may be psycho. But it
is one of the best.

Neither bloody nor shocking, I found myself being genuinely
concerned about the characters. Really feeling tingles up and down my spine,
even as I, jaded horror movie watcher that I am, wondered why. Surely this is
too cheesy.

It follows a few people who have been invited by an
eccentric millionaire, Fredrick Loren, (Price) to stay for one night in the
mansion where a number of people had previously been murdered. If they stay,
they will receive a large amount of money. As the people arrive, the
millionaire is upstairs, talking to his beautiful wife, Annabelle. She is his 4th
wife and the three previous wives have all died mysteriously. Loren and
Annabelle clearly hate each other and are planning the other ones death as soon
as may be, both refusing to divorce for financial reasons. And Loren is the
character you come to root for.

It’s cheesy. There are some unexplained things. But it is
good fun. A bit like those horror themed fun rides. You might get some tingles,
but you come out laughing and willing to go back again.