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Roy Ward Baker
A young coed (Nan Barlow) uses her winter vacation to research a paper on witchcraft in New England. Her professor recommends that she spend her time in a small village called Whitewood. He originally cam from that village so he also recommends she stay at the "Raven's Inn," run by a Mrs. Newlis. She gets to the village and notices some weird happenings, but things begin to happen in earnest when she finds herself "marked" for sacrifice by the undead coven of witches. It seems that the innkeeper is actually the undead spirit of Elizabeth Selwyn, and the "guests" at the inn are the other witches who have come to celebrate the sacrifice on Candalmas Eve. As one of them said when Nan walked away, "HE will be PLEASED." Written by
John A Kostecki <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The film's American release under the title of "Horror Hotel" OMITS the following lines during Elizabeth Selwyn's burning at the stake in the first scene, which are critical to fully understanding the plot but apparently offended American censors:
Elizabeth Selwyn: "I have made my pact with thee O Lucifer! Hear me, hear me! I will do thy bidding for all eternity. For all eternity shall I practice the ritual of Black Mass. For all eternity shall I sacrifice unto thee. I give thee my soul, take me into thy service."
Jethro Keane: "O Lucifer, listen to thy servant, grant her this pact for all eternity and I with her, and if we fail thee but once, you may do with our souls what you will."
Elizabeth Selwyn: "Make this city an example of thy vengeance. Curse it, curse it for all eternity! Let me be the instrument of thy curse. Hear me O Lucifer, hear me!" See more »
Although it might be more cinematic, witches were never burned at the stake in New England. They were either hanged or pressed (by large rocks being placed upon them by villagers). Burnings of witches happened in England. See more »
******SPOILERS****** After listening to a lecture by Prof.Alan
Driscoll, Christopher Lee, on the town of Whitewood Massachussetts back
in 1692 where a local witch, Elizabeth Slwyn, was burned at the stake
one of Prof. Driscoll's students Nan Barlow, Venetia Stevenson, decided
to do a term paper on the subject. Nan drives to Whitewood to get
whatever information she could get on the subject from whats available
in the towns records dating back to the 17th Century about witchcraft
in general and the Slwyn case in particular.
Getting instructions from a reluctant local living in the area Nan
drives into the town of Whitewood and checks into the Raven Inn where
she meets the owner Mrs. Newlis, Patricia Jessel, and her mute helper
Lottie, Ann Beach. Nan, unknowing to her at the time, was to meet a
fate reserved only for someone like her, an innocent girl, that was
needed for the Witches Holiday of February 1, Candlemass Eve the
Satanic mocking of the Church.
Early Witchcraft and devil movie that predated "Rosemary's Baby" and
"The Exorcist" but despite it's small budget is as good as either of
those movies and the dozens of imitations that followed them. Eerie and
spooky film about Witchcraft in New England that covers some 300 years
from the Salem Witch Trials in 1692 to the beginning of the Disco
Swinging era of the 1960's.
The town of Whitewood is both in the dark and fog at all times in the
movie with not a single ray of sunlight ever descending on it. This
gives the town a really creepy look as well as unnerving everyone in
the theater audience watching the film. It makes one feel that the
movie was made in Northern Alaska during the time when it has six
months of darkness instead of the state of Massachussetts.
Gripping as well as interesting movie with a great ending sequence
where good overcomes evil despite the overwhelming odds against it.
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