Thursday, July 21, 2016

Current Obsession: The Legend of Hell House (1973)

I watched The Legend of Hell House (1973) with an online group last week, and since then I've become slightly obsessed with this movie. It's based on the book Hell House by Richard Matheson, who also wrote I Am Legend.

The set up is rather convoluted, a rich benefactor wants to hire a team of skeptics and psychic mediums to find out if there's life after death (why not simply to see if the house is haunted?), and offers each person on the team $100,000 if they survive a week studying the Belasco house.

This movie contains psychic phenomenon, creepy voices, 70s special light show effects, ectoplasm, frisky shadows, an incredibly horny ghost, scientific machinery, and a possessed cat attack. Not necessarily in that order.

It also has Roddy McDowell, who stars as one of the psychics. Everything I watch a Roddy McDowell movie, I can't help but think of him as Peter Vincent, the fearless vampire killer from Fright Night 2. That's how he has endeared himself to me. He was a nice addition to The Legend of Hell House as well, even though Pamela Franklin (as Miss Florence Tanner) stole the show.

Overall a very enjoyable film, one that has turned me on to haunted house movies again. The Legend of Hell House is available via Netflix, and I highly recommend it.