House on Haunted Hill

on February 17, 1959 by BOXOFFICE Staff
Anyone for goose pimples? If so, there is a plethora of such epidermal elevations in this entry in to the apparently endless cycle of horror plays with which the world's screens are currently being flooded.

   Vincent Price, eccentric millionaire, and his wife, Carol Ohmart, thoroughly despise each other, and know that one would dispatch the other if an opportunity presented itself. They decide to stage a party in an averred haunted house, inviting thereto five guests from various walks of life, who are attracted by Price's offer that he will give $10,000 to each one of them who stays there overnight.

   In an effort to garner its fair slice of the spine-tingling market, the William Castle/Robb White production overlooks nary a tried-and-true gag to generate screams and chills. Because the titillation is entrusted to a competent cast-above average for this type of offering in both talent and marquee value-the feature should find no hurdles in its path to such a goal. So what matters it if the gimmicks are a bit on the hoary side-the prancing skeleton, the severed head, the clutching hand, the hanging body, etc., ad infinitum? They're still good for chills.

   Sell the suspense and intrigue. Give the foyer eerie lighting treatment. Make the boxoffice resemble a front door of a haunted house. Have employees dress as skeletons. If there is a local quiz program, plant a list of questions about ghosts, superstitions, etc.

   A House Haunted by Unspoken Fears and Terrifying Suspense...Where Terror Stalks the Dim Rooms and the Icy Hand of Murder Strikes From Shadowy Corners.

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