They’re Coming for Me Now…And Then They’ll Come for You: House on Haunted Hill (1959)

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The ghosts are moving tonight, restless… hungry…In just a moment I’ll show you the only really haunted house in the world.

I have been trying to review this film since the first Horrorfest, but something always seems to gum up the works. This is one of my all time favorite horror films and my favorite Vincent Price film.

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Years ago I was at a yard sale, where I found this film, along with: Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956), The Wolf Man (1941), The Stepford Wives (1975), Rebecca (1940), The Phantom of the Opera (1943), North by Northwest (1959), Family Plot (1976), Lifeboat (1944), The Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954), Notorious (1946), and The Night of the Hunter (1955).  

I had never heard of this film, but if it has Vincent Price you know I’m all over it.

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Then I watched it and saw it is one of the best horror films ever made, with everything you could want:

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So do you dare continue on?

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So the film starts off with the scariest opening I have ever seen. All we have is a black screen and screaming from men and women.

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Can you imagine hearing that full volume in a darken theater?

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I can imagine people were freaking out.

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We then are met by Watson Pritchard (Elisha Cook Jr.) who warns us about the house and how we should stay away:

Watson Pritchard:The ghosts are moving tonight, restless… hungry. May I introduce myself? I’m Watson Pritchard. In just a moment I’ll show you the only really haunted house in the world. Since it was built a century ago, seven people, including my brother, have been murdered in it. Since then, I’ve owned the house. I only spent one night then and when they found me in the morning, I… I was almost dead.

AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We then cut to wealthy businessman Fredrick Loren (Vincent Price). He has rented the House on Haunted Hill for a party,

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inviting five people to attend and promising them each $10,000 if they stay the whole night.

As soon as they pull up to the house, strange things begin happening. A chandelier almost kills a guest when it falls,

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And another guest gets knocked unconscious,

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And it doesn’t stop there. It turns out that all is not happy with the Loren life. Fredrick is angry with his wife as he believes her to be a gold digger and trying to murder him.

Frederick Loren: Do you remember the fun we had when you poisoned me?

Annabelle Loren: [laughs] Something you ate, the doctor said.

Frederick Loren: Yes, arsenic on the rocks…[grabs AnnabelleAnnabelle, you’d do it again if you thought you’d get away with it, wouldn’t you?

But Annabelle (Carole Ohmart) says that he is a jealous, crazy psychopath who has already killed three wives and is going to add her to his dead list.

Annabelle Loren: My husband is sometimes insane with jealousy. Nothing matters to him!

Lance Schroeder: Would he hurt you?

Annabelle Loren: He would kill me if he could…You know, of course, that I’m his fourth wife. The first simply disappeared; the other two died…All his doctors said heart attacks. Two girls in their 20s. Lance… I don’t want to join them.

Who is telling the truth? Who is lying? And which is a killer?

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We are given the history of the house with its gruesome murders, from beheadings to being thrown in acid.

Ahhh!

Ahhh!

They are locked in with no way out, one guest is nearly strangled to death, one having a nervous breakdown, and one murdered!

AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Which one is the killer? Or is it a ghost?

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Watch it yourself to find out. I will not ruin the ending of this masterpiece.

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To start Horrorfest V from the beginning, go to Who You Gonna Call?: Ghostbusters (1984)

For the previous post, go to That’s What We’re Trying to Find out! We’re Trying to Find Out Who Killed Him, and Where, and With What!: Clue (1985)

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For more Vincent Price, go to No Mere Mortal Can Resist the Evil of the Thriller: Thriller (1983)

For more ghosts, go to Night on Bald Mountain: Fantasia (1940)

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So everyone:

Happy Halloween jack-o-lantern

By the time this posts, I know Horrorfest won’t be finished, so you know what I’ll be doing tonight; but whatever you do I hope you have fun, get candy, and stay safe!

Remember:

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When Horror Doesn’t Stay on the Screen: Phantom of the Megaplex (2000)

Phantom of the Megaplex

When horror doesn’t stay on the screen!

I loved this film so much as a kid! There are so many amazing things involved in it!

  1. It’s a DCOM (Disney Channel Original Movie). Now I’m from the generation that these movies came out every month and were amazing. Today all the DCOMs are completely dumb, and poorly written, but back in my day they were actually something to look forward to on a friday night.
  2. It’s a very well done modern version of the Phantom of the Opera. I loved how well they do it! I love almost everything Phantom of the Opera-y. (The 1945 version was atrocious! Don’t watch it!)
  3. They reference so many other movies, that it just makes a cinephile like me squeal in delight!
  4. It has MICKEY ROONEY! Yes this amazing man plays a misunderstood guy, and classic film buff. When I watched this film I wanted to be just like him. I wanted to have quotes and film plots memorized that I just whipped out whenever something came up that was similar. Phantom of the Operamay have started me in my love of classic film, but this film completely changed my personality.
  5. It takes place in a movie theater, one of my favorite places to be and where I have always wanted to work at. I wish I could get a job there, but so many others want to work there it’s hard to get in. 😦 One day!
  6. Taylor Handley was the main guy. I had the hugest crush on him when this film came out, I was like 8 or 9 and in love with him.

So the film starts out with the credits and Fugue in D Minor, classic, horrific stuff! Love the creepiness of the organ! We are also told that when the original theater was destroyed to create the new megaplex, a man was supposedly trapped in there and now haunts the megaplex for all eternity.

Taylor Handley’s character, Pete Riley, introduces us to the megaplex where he works at.

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They are getting ready for a huge film premiere, Midnight Mayhem, at the theater. He is the assistant manager and not only in charge of a making sure everything goes just right, but a crazy collection of workers.

  1. There’s Shawn MacGibbon and Senior Manager. He is getting passed over for the owner’s doofus son. Something he is not happy about. He’s Pete’s boss.
  2. Ricky “Rules”. He always follows the rules to a T and makes sure everyone else does.
  3. “Scary” Terry. She is always talking about some seemingly innocent thing turns out to be murderous. She loves the macabre.
  4. Hillary “Honey”. She’s the mom of the group and always calling everyone dear, sweetie, or honey.
  5. “Question” Mark. Whenever he’s told to do something, he always answers with a question mark.
  6. “Racy” Lacy. Always moving a mile a minute.
  7. Merle. He’s not really under Pete either, he kind of does what he wants. He’s the projectionist and handyman extraordinaire. He feels under-appreciated at his job.
  8. “Movie” Mason. Played by the wonderful Mickey Rooney! I love Movie Mason and wanted to be just like him. Movie Moreland!  I love the sound of that. Mason is mistreated by Shawn MacGibbon. Everyday Mason comes with a mock schedule, his family owned the old theater and it was his personal playground. MacGibbon hates him, and is verbally abusive to him every time he sees him. Mason is absolutely awesome though. He has an amazing speech in the film. It was so well written.

Movie Mason: When we arrive in this world magic is all around us…Yet as the years pass, simple pleasures aren’t quite so simple to find. Myths… Legends… Fall away. Santa’s secrets are revealed. Card tricks lose their fascination. True wonder is hard to come by… But there is always magic at the movies. Pirate ships… bicycles that fly… angels earn their wings, beautiful women marry handsome men and we all learn that there is no place like home. To destroy that magic, to shatter those moments to me is a sin so grave it would almost be incomprehensible!”

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Pete’s mom is going out that night so he ends up being stuck with his cinephillic brother and sister. This turns out to be the least of his problems as there is a masked figure roaming about that is causing all kinds of disasters all over the theater.

Electrical systems fail, a candy machine breaks down and shoots the gumballs all over the lobby. Then the popcorn machine goes haywire and Pete has to figure out how to stop it. Every time he solves one problem new ones start popping up.

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Phantom then starts pranking films based on their plot or name. In Cyclone Summer, a Twister like film, he places a giant fan that blows destructively at the audience.

In Cut to Black, he makes lights flicker on and off, cutting to black. He continues on this spree. Giant blowups ballons are misplaced and pop up elsewhere, MAYHEM ALL OVER.

Pete valiantly tries to stop him and determine who he is! Will He find out? Watch and see!

Now for movies he references are the following (I watched this a few weeks ago so sorry if I don’t list all of them, comment any I don’t catch):

  1. King Kong: The Gorilla balloon that attacks the people in the Mayhem Movie
  2. The Wizard of Oz: Mason quotes from it and references it.
  3. Twister: Cyclone Summer is a parody of it
  4. Godzilla, The Giant Behemoth, The Great Gila Monster, or The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms: Midnight Mayhem has a huge dinosaur that attacks a city.
  5. Scream. The girls are in the bathroom and the phantom is lurking around scaring them much like he tries to scare Sydney.
  6. Scream 3. A similar scene with the phantom lurking around happens in here too.
  7. Sleepless in Seattle. The kids hope that the mom will be proposed to in this way.
  8. Miracle on 34th Street. He references it in his speech he gives on magic.
  9. Hollywood Hotel. Mickey Rooney sings the song “Hooray for Hollywood“.
  10. The Sword in the Stone. They are running a promotional that if you pull the plastic sword out of the plastic stone you will win free movie passes. Pete runs and grabs it to destroy the blow up balloons.
  11. Tarzan or George of the Jungle. Pete swings on a vine over to capture the phantom.
  12. Phantom of the Opera. Of course, the whole film is based on it!

That’s the fearful post for today! More to come! 3 Days ‘Till Halloween

Here is a cover page/poster I made for my facebook page for my countdown to Halloween.

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To start Horrorfest from the beginning, go to I Don’t Belong in the World

For the previous post, go to Feast Your Eyes on My Accursed Ugliness

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For more on The Phantom of the Opera, go to It’s BACK: The Sequel

For more of horror happening in a movie theater, go to Midnight Madness

For more on Disney, go to I’m No Warrior, I’m An Assistant Pig-Keeper

For more on Disney Channel Original Movies, go to Bowled Over

For more on The Giant Behemoth, go to From the Sea Burning Like Fire 

For more of my fav quotes, go to I Want Friend Like Me