Two generations of men find themselves haunted by the presence of a spectral woman. When the son of one of the elderly men returns to his hometown after his brother's mysterious death, they attempt to unravel her story.
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
Early in the film, in her and her husband's bedroom, Ann Barrett is seen holding the novel "Sentimental Education" by 19th century French author Gustave Flaubert. The novel was no doubt deliberately chosen for her to hold by the filmmakers since much of the novel is about passion, sex, and desire, making it fit in well with the highly sexualized and erotic nature of much of the film. It also foreshadows her later scenes and hints at her repressed sexuality. See more »
The black cat that attacked Florence and that she later found dead in the shower, is later seen on the outside wall. See more »
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!
22 of 30 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?