House on Haunted Hill/The Last Man On Earth 2000 Horror Movie Review
Horror movies Review
While “The Last Man on Earth” is a fine Vincent Price vampire film, I wish to focus particularly on this 1959, black-and-white version of “House on Haunted Hill”.
First, this is the version that you want, especially if you have a widescreen television. Many other DVD releases have been “panned and scanned” to facilitate the full-screen aspect, (which cuts off the left and right sides of the film and renders a blurrier negative). Others are listed as “widescreen”. In my opinion, the letterbox format is superior to these other alternatives.
As I mentioned in the heading, this is my personal favorite of all horror films. Vincent Price is just at his pinnacle in this one! The filmscore here is superb, a 60s atmospheric and wandering composition by Von Dexter. And, by the way, skip the mediocre color remake version of this film (1999).
The story here is that Vincent Price plays a playboy millionaire who, along with his unfaithful wife, invites a number of people to stay overnight in a haunted, but modern, mansion where a number of people who previously stayed were murdered. If these “players” survive the night, they get $10,000 each. Each of the guests has been personally selected from varying rungs of the social ladder but they all have one thing in common: they’re all hard-up for cash! You won’t guess the end of this one.
Directed by the great William Castle, the sets and location of the film are pure treasure, especially the “acid well” in the basement! The cinematography is superb and the casting, including the neurotic Elisha Cook, Jr. as the house owner, is perfect. The man and wife servants are pretty darn shocking too.
This print is the best you can obtain. It’s crystal clear and I highly recommend it.