The Legend of Hell House (1973)

Hell House is a film that is harder to appreciate in a time when the spectacular and sensational rule, and where special computerized FX have made literally anything imaginable possible. The film uses creepy, subtle scares to convey a sinister unseen evil, but its disasterously slow pacing may be enough to derail the average fan. A team of investigators enter a haunted mansion to recover hard evidence of its spiritual activity, but will any of them leave alive? There is a lot to like in this supernatural thriller, particularly for fans of films like Burnt Offerings, The Changeling, or The Haunting, each of which rely on the strength of the characters, setting, and dialogue to create the frightening mood over excessive blood and violence. The players in this one (including Roddy McDowall of Fright Night fame) truly sell the horror, aided by rattling furniture and housewares being moved by disembodied entities. Hell House also makes for a darkly beautiful but alarming setting, with plenty of dusty quarters and forgotten passageways to claim the unsuspecting victim. Though the film is made well, there have been many other films that have improved upon the theme in many ways, but it is a classic haunting tale and worth checking out for any phantom fans!

Rating: 7/10.

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  1. Spot on review, Carl. I thought this was a supremely spooky movie and I'd rate it alongside BURNT OFFERINGS, another great and creepy haunted house flick.