House on Haunted Hill (1959/1999)
HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL (15)
D: William Castle
Allied Artists (William Castle & Robb White)
US 🇺🇸 1959
W: Robb White
DP: Carl E. Guthrie
Ed: Roy V. Livingstone
Mus: Richard Kayne, Richard Loring & Von Dexter
Vincent Price (Frederick Loren), Carol Ohmart (Annabelle Loren), Richard Long (Lance Schroeder), Alan Marshal (Dr. David Trent), Carolyn Craig (Nora Manning)
The original 1959 version of House On Haunted Hill was a campy horror movie with the added gimmick of having cinema auditoriums decked out with props, that would swoop down or emerge at certain points during the movie. William Castle frequently built his productions around these types of gimmicks, which would have been fun to witness in at a movie theatre, but unfortunately this doesn't carry over to smaller screens.
The story itself is pretty standard stuff; an eccentric millionaire invites guests to spend the evening in his haunted house to earn $10,000, though this is all a ruse to a much more sinister plot.
The film was remade in 1999 without the necessity for gimmicks and overall works better as a standalone film. I still think the original should be appreciated for what Castle tried to bring to the screen, but unfortunately the movement of media & entertainment to the home has dated the concept quite badly.