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A team consisting of a physicist, his wife, a young female psychic and the only survivor of the previous visit are sent to the notorious Hell House to prove/disprove survival after death. Previous visitors have either been killed or gone mad, and it is up to the team to survive a full week in isolation, and solve the mystery of the Hell House. Written by
Four psychic investigators (Roddy McDowall, Pamela Franklin, Clive Revill, Gayle Hunnicutt) are to spend a week in the Mount Everest of haunted houses to see if life does exist after death. They are given only a week and, in that time, have all the ghosts attack full force.
Next to the 1962 version of "The Haunting" this is the best haunted house flick ever made. It starts up and never stops. There's no humor and it's beautifully atmospheric. Also creepy sound effects and eerie music help keep up the mood and director John Hough shoots the film from weird angles keeping you off balance. Good performances help especially by Franklin and there's one harrowing sequence in which she "offers" herself to the spirits of the house. Not for the blood and guts crowd (this is PG rated). A very scary movie.
The book is much better and a LOT more graphic but there was no way they could have shot the book faithfully--it would have had an X rating! For instance when Franklin has sex with a ghost--in the movie she looks into the camera and screams. In the book she finds a rotting corpse forcing itself on her!
This seems to have disappeared off the radar--even the 2003 DVD release is pretty bad. The colors are faded, there's only a trailer as an extra and there was no big publicity campaign for it. Still you should seek it out if you haven't seen in--it's worth it. I give it a rare 10!
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