Culture

Sgathaich: The House on Haunted Hill 1959

Vincent price (I’ll just leave it as that, please visualize me in front of the curtain now just dropping the mic and walking off).

Directed by William Castle, the film continues his tendency of doing cheap but quite enjoyable B movies with gimmicks to add stuff to the people watching the film. This does mean you are missing something when you watch it now but it was still fun and hey, it’s public domain so no guilt watching it online.

Starring the legendary Vincent Price, he introduces us in his classic vocal stylings to the events. Well ok first we get an explanation on the history of the house by Watson Pritchard played by Elisha Cook the highly frightened owner of the house, recanting the murders and how after spending one night in the house the people found him almost dead.

Anyway, Vincent Price playing eccentric millionaire Frederick Loren has invited a bunch of people to a haunted house party, offering them each 10000 dollars if they survive the night. His narration gives us an introduction to each of the guests. They are also accompanied by his wife Annabelle played by Carol Ohmart and it’s clear from their interactions there’s little to no chemistry in romance.

The house and story plays out to a degree like an old fairground haunted house, with creepy cookie stuff going on. Watson constantly terrified of the ghosts dwelling in the house that he believes are coming for all of them. After they get locked in to the house the tone of the film changes from being less haunted house and more a murder mystery one but there were hints laid at the start so it doesn’t come off as too abrupt.

The film is enjoyable for Vincent Price alone but it’s also good to simply enjoy it as almost a haunted house ride before turning into the mystery element with some good twists at the end that were nicely foreshadowed.

As said the film is in public domain so it shouldn’t be too hard to find and maybe it’s something you can watch this Halloween night…. unless you want a proper scare the film really isn’t scary outside of maybe the jump scare or two early on.

Rating: spear spear spear spear 

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