Friday, September 26, 2014
Classic Cinema Spotlight: The Legend of Hell House
There is something terribly unique about horror films made in the 1970's. Many of them had psychological twists and themes that were just touched upon in 1960's horror films. Today I bring you a neat little film called The Legend of Hell House (1973).
When I first took a peak at it I noticed right away that Roddy McDowell was in it and I knew I had to give it a try. He was a Old Hollywood child actor who acted well into the 1990's. He did not disappoint.
This is a British horror film and I enjoyed the various different approaches to their way of telling a spooky story. It starts with Physicists Lionel Barrett (Clive Revill) meeting with an elderly, wealthy, and eccentric man who asks Barrett to investigate if their is life after death. The site of this investigate is a place called the Belasco House which is known to be the "Mount Everest of haunted houses". Barrett along with his wife Ann (Gayle Hunnicutt), Ben Fischer (Roddy McDowell), and Florence Tanner (Pamela Franklin) both as mediums.
The film begins with this introduction:
Barrett and the two mediums attempt to contact whoever is supposedly in the house and madness ensues. Who is the culprit is a mystery that will only be solved until the very end. Tanner's character is really put through the blender (not literally) by the entity in that home while Ann (Barrett's wife) is affected in manner that shocks her by the entities in the home. Fischer tries to pull it all together and in the end, solves the mystery of life after death and the haunting of Belasco House.
I really enjoyed the creepy music, the camera angles, and the placing of the date and time under a screen while the story played on. It gave it a realistic touch that I believe is used more now that it was used then.
This film made me cover my eyes a few times. It's the not knowing that creeps me out. A definite horror classic that if you enjoy spooky films, you should see!