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House on Haunted Hill

Vincent Price , Carol Ohmart , William Castle    Unrated   DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (73 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 68.22
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Product Description

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William Castle's gimmick-laden comic thriller is not so much a horror movie as a fairground funhouse come to life. Vincent Price stars as a deliciously silky millionaire married to a greedy gold digger (Carol Ohmart) who refuses to divorce him. When he turns his wife's idea for a haunted-house party into a contest--$10,000 to whoever will spend the night in "the only truly haunted house in the world"--it seems he may have found an alternative to divorce. Five strangers gather to test their stamina, Price hands each of them delightfully twisted party favors (loaded handguns, delivered in their own tiny coffins), and the spook show begins. Blood drips from the ceiling, zombielike apparitions float through rooms, severed heads and skeletons suddenly appear, and then a guest is found hanging in the stairwell. Full of screams and things that go bump in the night, House on Haunted Hill isn't particularly scary and often makes little sense, but, like a Halloween haunted house, the spectacle of spook-show clichés is quite entertaining, and Price makes a sardonic master of ceremonies. The original theatrical presentations featured a typically outrageous Castle-engineered gimmick: Emergo, which was nothing more than a skeleton that appeared to fly out of the screen and over the audience on a guide wire. --Sean Axmaker

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Quality So Bad It's Not Worth It Sept. 28 2012
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
With over 500 DVDs and BluRays in our collection this is the first where the technical quality is so truly awful I would rather not have had the movie than put up with this. This purchase replaced a 10-year-old copy from Diamond Entertainment Corp. that cracked at the hub....so I know the crisp, clear quality of this film that is possible. This version is a blurry, grey-and-white mess. To add insult to injury it's a 1.33 aspect ratio, suggesting it was intended as a broadcast TV copy. The original film is 1.85. If you care at all about image quality don't bother-wait for a different version to be released.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Schlocky yet creepy Feb. 22 2007
By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
Vincent Price. A haunted mansion house. Spooky caretakers. And a giant pile of money to any of the guests who lives through the night. What's not to love?

"The House on Haunted Hill" is one of those rare horror movies that seems as fresh as if it were made yesterday. The script is clever, the acting is solid, and while the direction is a bit on the hammy side, the plot is clever enough to keep viewers riveted until the final twist. It's horror, myster and dark comedy all in one.

Frederick Loren (Vincent Price) decides to host a macabre birthday party for his devious wife Annabelle (Carol Ohmart), in the "House on Haunted Hill." He invites a test pilot, a columnist, a secretary and the house's unbalanced owner, and offers each one ten thousand dollars if they stay all night. Chandeliers fall, doors slam shut, and they get to see the wine vat full of acid.

But as the night goes on, poor Nora Manning (Carolyn Craig) begins to see specters and rotted heads. The others think she's hysterical -- until Annabelle is found hanging in the hallway, dead. The unfortunate guests start to suspect that Loren brought them there to murder them (except for the owner, who blames ghosts). But the truth is far more complex and sinister....

William Castle made a lot of slightly kitschy horror movies like "13 Ghosts" and "The Tingler," but this clever twist on haunted-house movies is probably his best work ever. Okay, that dancing skeleton is unintentionally funny, as is the gliding crone. But most of the time, it provides some in-your-face chills and great work from Price.

This movie has solid dialogue ("Do you remember the fun we had when you poisoned me?") and some truly wicked exchanges between Price and Ohmart, as spouses who completely loathe one another.
Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars entertaining ,if a bit overacted Nov. 1 2008
By falcon
Format:DVD
i found this movie entertaining.it has some spooky moments,to be
sure,but i wouldn't say it was scary,but it is a nifty little
mystery.the basic premise is that a group of people are invited to
spend the Night in a reputed Haunted House.if they survive the
Night,they are given $10,000 each.naturally strange things happen with
no apparent reason.there is a bit of overacting here and a few things
are a bit overdone,but that just adds to the fun of the movie.the
special effects are very quaint by today's standards,but i have no
doubt they were effective back then.there isn't a lot of music in this
movie,and i think it could have benefited a bit from more,to heighten
the mood.all in all,though,a pretty decent film.for me,House on Haunted
Hill is a 3/5
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By J. Lovins TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
20th Century Fox present "HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL" (released: February 17, 1959) (75 mins) (B&W/Color Versions) - Under William Castle (Director / Producer), Robb White (Screenwriter), Carl Guthrie (Cinematographer), Von Dexter (Composer (Music Score), Roy Livingston (Editor), Dave Milton (Art Director), Jane Huizenga (Production Director), David D. Martin (Technical Director) - - - - - - our star Vincent Price plays Frederick Loren, an eccentric millionaire that invites five very different people to a haunted house for a party, and offers them $10,000 if they can stay the night --- As usual, Price gives a commanding performance and completely steals every scene he's in --- Elisha Cook in particular gives excellent support playing the wimpy owner of the house; much the same character that he played in the Stanley Kubrick masterpiece; 'The Killing" (1956) --- The rest of the cast is made up of unknown actors, but they also all perform to relatively high standards in their respective roles --- House on Haunted Hill is topped off by a brilliant double twist, and it is also given certain originality --- the atmosphere and uneasiness of this film makes for an incredible who done it story as you wonder who will get it --- The set is intoxicating inasmuch as you never really see all of it, nor is it really explained what such a dangerous acid pit is doing in such a precarious spot in the basement --- Throughout the movie, there is an abundant sense of dread that is perpetually present and it serves the film well in that it brings the house to life --- at every point in the film, the audience is made to believe that there is something unseen in the house that will cause bad things to happen --- Director William Castle and actor Vincent Price are at their best! Read more ›
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4.0 out of 5 stars Only the ghosts are glad we're here Jan. 10 2009
By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
Vincent Price. A haunted mansion house. Spooky caretakers. And a giant pile of money to any of the guests who lives through the night. What's not to love?

"The House on Haunted Hill" is one of those rare horror movies that seems as fresh as if it were made yesterday. The script is clever, the acting is solid, and while the direction is a bit on the hammy side, the plot is clever enough to keep viewers riveted until the final twist. It's horror, myster and dark comedy all in one.

Frederick Loren (Vincent Price) decides to host a macabre birthday party for his devious wife Annabelle (Carol Ohmart), in the "House on Haunted Hill." He invites a test pilot, a columnist, a secretary and the house's unbalanced owner, and offers each one ten thousand dollars if they stay all night. Chandeliers fall, doors slam shut, and they get to see the wine vat full of acid.

But as the night goes on, poor Nora Manning (Carolyn Craig) begins to see specters and rotted heads. The others think she's hysterical -- until Annabelle is found hanging in the hallway, dead. The unfortunate guests start to suspect that Loren brought them there to murder them (except for the owner, who blames ghosts). But the truth is far more complex and sinister....

William Castle made a lot of slightly kitschy horror movies like "13 Ghosts" and "The Tingler," but this clever twist on haunted-house movies is probably his best work ever. Okay, that dancing skeleton is unintentionally funny, as is the gliding crone. But most of the time, it provides some in-your-face chills and great work from Price.

This movie has solid dialogue ("Do you remember the fun we had when you poisoned me?") and some truly wicked exchanges between Price and Ohmart, as spouses who completely loathe one another.
Read more ›
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The ghosts are waiting
Vincent Price. A haunted mansion house. Spooky caretakers. And a giant pile of money to any of the guests who lives through the night. What's not to love? Read more
Published on Aug. 3 2007 by E. A Solinas
4.0 out of 5 stars The Original Haunted House Classic With Vincent Price!
I recently picked up "The House On Haunted Hill" at The Bargain Shop with the expectation that if the picture wasn't very good, I could at least sell it second hand and... Read more
Published on Dec 9 2004 by Christopher Jackson
4.0 out of 5 stars The classic that's fun and scary.
This movie is over all scary, the opening scene sets the stage for a film that was way ahead of it's time. Read more
Published on June 28 2004 by Drums
5.0 out of 5 stars FOR 10,000 DOLLARS WOULD YOU SPEND A NIGHT WITH VINCENTPRICE
I absolutley loved this movie. The script writting is wonderful,the acting is treamendous and the surprises you will see in this movie keep you at the end of your seat. Read more
Published on March 19 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars a Vincent Price classic
what we seem to have is a battle between the unknown. this is classic horror, done in a melodramatic way, much like the Universal horror classics of the early '30s where all you... Read more
Published on March 19 2004 by Jerry McDaniel
3.0 out of 5 stars Stupid!
This film was a bit basic, as it is such an old film it lacks realistic quality, i would recommend this to people who very much like black and white movies, this is not one for the... Read more
Published on Feb. 17 2004
4.0 out of 5 stars Holds up today.
This b&W horror movie featuring Vincent Price is a gem. It's suspenseful, features some decent acting, and is fun to watch.
Recommended.
Published on Nov. 8 2003 by NHgboy
5.0 out of 5 stars Old Price Classic is that pure fun!
William Castle at his gimmicky best! A Classic, spooky Black and White, with deliciously devilish Vincent Price as millionaire with a bored gold-digger wife. Read more
Published on Oct. 29 2003 by Deborah MacGillivray
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