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House on Haunted Hill, 1959 – ★★★

Oh. OH. Oh NO!! This disc I rented is COLORIZED! They should slap a big red warning label on that.

Apparently I watched this film seven years ago, and I don’t even remember doing so. I first saw this story as the 1999 remake with Geoffrey Rush in the Vincent Price role. I’m sure there’s some bias because I saw that one first, but I really do prefer that one, as it is more in line with my horror-comedy sensibilities. I definitely see the bones of it in this version, but the occasional bit of dark humor only makes the slow, stilted elements feel even more stilted. However, if I was a teen in 1959, I’m sure I would have loved it. 

Trivia I noticed: There are stone tiles in this film that match the ones in Deckard’s apartment in Blade Runner. Also, one of the ghost sounds is the same as the tripod sounds in George Pal’s War of the Worlds (1953).

from my Letterboxd

You should check out my podcast about movie magic and VFX: The Optical.

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