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The Ghosts of Hanley House (1968)

| Horror
Five people are spending the night in a haunted house. Things get dicey when some of them start turning up decapitated.

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Five people are spending the night in a haunted house. Things get dicey when some of them start turning up decapitated.

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'The Haunting' meets 'Hillbillies in a Haunted House!'
2 September 2007 | by (Oklahoma) – See all my reviews

At its best, 'The Ghosts of Hanley House' has the feel of a poor man's 'The Haunting.' At its worst, it has the feel of the forgettable Ferlin Huskey (old-time country singer for those who don't know) vehicle, 'Hillbillies in a Haunted House.' Part of this feeling was due to the guy who took the bet to stay overnight in the house (don't know the actor's name since even IMDb doesn't know who played whom!) sounds JUST like old Ferlin … which is to say a Hillbilly country singer stuck in a haunted house!

Overall, I was pleasantly surprised. As others have said, the production values, at least as far as sound goes, are terrible! It sounds like a very, very early "talkie" from about 1929! I think the ghost was standing outside the house, holding the microphone in many scenes! The camera work, though, is quite good. The film almost seems to have a blue tint, as in silent film days…except of course the handful of somewhat overdone scenes of a man's silhouette standing outside the house with the picture in a gaudy blood-red tint. The house itself is wonderful. I suspect the availability of the house may have led to the movie. I can almost see Louise Sherrill visiting the house and going 'Dang! I've GOT to make a haunted house movie about this place!'

Sometimes Ms. Sherrill gets a little heavy-handed on making sure we understand what we're supposed to see. We hear and see cars trying to start for 30 seconds to show that the cars won't start. We have at least two looks out the front door, each 20-30 seconds of panning every inch of terrain just to show that no one was REALLY knocking on the front door. A few other things that don't add up would be the painting of Mrs. Hanley looking NOTHING like the flashback image of her, the haunted house scenes at the opening bearing little or no relation to the crime that had been committed there, etc.

Don't expect 'The Haunting' or 'The Shining.' If you like B horror, though, this one should be well worth viewing.


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