25 July 2014

The Legend of Hell House (1973)
93 min.
Directed by John Hough.
With Roddy McDowall, Pamela Franklin, Gayle Hunnicutt, Clive Revill, Roland Culver, Michael Gough.
Pamela Franklin is excellent in this superior adaptation of author Richard Matheson's novel Hell House.

Four people enter Belasco Mansion, supposedly a haunted house, to study the possibility of life after death and the existence of true paranormal activity.

Among them are a physicist (Revill), his wife (Hunnicutt), a young psychic (Franklin), and the only survivor (McDowall) from a previous search team hired to investigate the place.

Seems Belasco Mansion - the "Everest of haunted houses" - was once home to a depraved, eccentric millionaire named Emeric Belasco, who performed every kind of evil deed within the walls of the joint, from murder to bestiality to necrophilia...and beyond.

As a result, the notorious Hell House has more than its fair share of malicious spirits wandering the halls. Question is, will this new team of intrepid researchers survive long enough to document - and resolve - its horrors?

From the director who helmed the interesting British thriller Eyewitness (1970) comes this generally satisfying ghost movie.

Wondrously free of computer effects, and relying only on characterizations, mood and atmosphere, Hell House is certainly one of the better ghost efforts to come out of the first half of the '70s.

Despite a somewhat disappointing ending, there are more than a few scenes which will make your hair stand on end.

copyright 1998-present | The Terror Trap; www.terrortrap.com | all rights reserved