Horror Hotel 1960 Horror Movie Review
Horror movies Review
Nan (Stevenson) is an earnest young student studying history under kindly professor Christopher Lee (was he really this young once?), who tells her about the New England town he was born in and its history of witchcraft legends. In the prologue, a 17th century witch had been burned at the stake in this very town while her husband pleads to Lucifer to help them. Nan is fascinated and decides to spend her vacation there to study the history of Massachusetts witch hunts, to the annoyance of her boyfriend and her brother, who is a skeptical colleague of Lee’s.
Once she begins her drive to the town, the fun horror movie conventions kick into high gear, but done so incredibly well I found myself laughing my head off through the whole journey at the perfection of it all. We have a constant fog clinging to the ground and creepily swirling about (lit to beautiful effect by the slumming Desmond Dickinson, who was the legendary cinematographer on Olivier’s Hamlet, among other great films), a gas station attendant with dire warnings (“God fearing people don’t go there, miss. You’d best turn around now and go on home”), sinister cemeteries with gravestones tilted at all angles, dark-dressed figures appearing and fading into the fog, a mysterious hitchhiker who suddenly disappears, a servant girl with her tongue missing to keep her silent… you get the idea. There’s everything here but an acid vat in the basement (but there’s a secret passageway under the floor to make up for the omission), but it’s all done with style and class. By the way, the gas station guy and the hitchhiker show up again later, just to make sure you get the point that it’s a joke. And do you think maybe a priest will show up at some time to give a few pointers? Yeah, why not?
The girl checks in to the hotel Lee had told her about, and doesn’t the proprietor (Jessel) look like the witch that got roasted in the prologue? The hitchhiker looks like the witch’s husband too, come to think of it… As a side note, the husband is Valentine Dyall, with a sinister, sepulchral voice that listeners of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy radio series will recognize right away. He had a series of fine appearances in horror films of the period, most notably in “The Haunting.”
This is an old school movie that the Misfits wrote a song about. Thats basically all I know about this movie’s background and that it stars Christopher Lee. It’s a decent plot and everything but it’s so old it’s boring. I suppose it was good for it’s time.