House On Haunted Hill (1959)

     Welcome to recommendation #5 of our 31 days of movies we recommend for the Halloween season! Let me start this recommendation by emphasizing that this is about the original movie from 1959, not the shitty remake that Connor says is the best horror movie of the 90s. That movie is a pile of garbage, but the original movie directed by William Castle and starring Vincent Price is great. 

     House on Haunted Hill is about eccentric millionaire Frederick Loren (Vincent Price) who invites five people to a party he is throwing for his fourth wife Annabelle in a large house he alledges is haunted, with the promise to give each guest $10,000 if they spend the entire night in the house after the doors are locked at midnight. All of the guests don’t belie the house is haunted except for Watson Pritchard who is convinced the house is haunted by the ghosts of people that have been murdered there. Throughout the course of the night the guests, and the viewers, are left to wonder if the house truly is haunted or if something more suspicious and sinister is happening.   

     While I wouldn’t consider the movie scary it definitely is pretty creepy, especially Vincent Price who is fantastic. House on Haunted Hill is a really well made campy mystery movie that will keep you intrigued throughout the movie and is filled with great performances, solid practical effects for the era, and even some good laughs.

     The movie is a classic for its great quality and also for its promotional gimmick “Emergo”. The gimmick was that in some theaters that showed the film, exhibitors rigged an elaborate pulley system near the theater screen which allowed a plastic skeleton to be flown over the audience during a corresponding scene late in the film. not only that, but after seeing the movie and its low budget Alfred Hitchcock made his own low-budget horror movie, the legendary Psycho. 

     I highly recommend this movie, especially if you enjoy the classics and something campy. It is currently free on Amazon Prime Video.