6.9/10
18,962
224 user 89 critic

House on Haunted Hill (1959)

Not Rated | | Horror, Mystery | 17 February 1959 (USA)
A millionaire offers $10,000 to five people who agree to be locked in a large, spooky, rented house overnight with him and his wife.

Directors:

William Castle, Rosemary Horvath (uncredited)

Writer:

Robb White
Reviews

Watch Now

With Prime Video

WATCH NOW
ON DISC

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

House of Wax (1953)
Certificate: GP Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

An associate burns down a wax museum with the owner inside, but he survives only to become vengeful and murderous.

Director: André De Toth
Stars: Vincent Price, Frank Lovejoy, Phyllis Kirk
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

An amusement park mogul offers a group of diverse people $1,000,000 to spend the night in a haunted house with a horrifying past.

Director: William Malone
Stars: Geoffrey Rush, Famke Janssen, Taye Diggs
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

When a disease turns all of humanity into the living dead, the last man on earth becomes a reluctant vampire hunter.

Directors: Ubaldo Ragona, Sidney Salkow
Stars: Vincent Price, Franca Bettoia, Emma Danieli
Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Upon entering his fiancée's family mansion, a man discovers a savage family curse and fears that his future brother-in-law has entombed his bride-to-be prematurely.

Director: Roger Corman
Stars: Vincent Price, Mark Damon, Myrna Fahey
The Haunting (1963)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A scientist doing research on the paranormal invites two women to a haunted mansion. One of the participants soon starts losing her mind.

Director: Robert Wise
Stars: Julie Harris, Claire Bloom, Richard Johnson
Comedy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A doctor, scientist, organist, and biblical scholar, Anton Phibes, seeks revenge on the nine doctors he considers responsible for his wife's death.

Director: Robert Fuest
Stars: Vincent Price, Joseph Cotten, Hugh Griffith
The Tingler (1959)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

An obsessed pathologist discovers and captures a parasitic creature that grows when fear grips its host.

Director: William Castle
Stars: Vincent Price, Judith Evelyn, Darryl Hickman
The Fly (1958)
Drama | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A scientist has a horrific accident when he tries to use his newly invented teleportation device.

Director: Kurt Neumann
Stars: David Hedison, Patricia Owens, Vincent Price
Drama | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

In the sixteenth century, Francis Barnard travels to Spain to clarify the strange circumstances of his sister's death after she had married the son of a cruel Spanish Inquisitor.

Director: Roger Corman
Stars: Vincent Price, Barbara Steele, John Kerr
The Bat (1959)
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A crazed killer known as "The Bat" is on the loose in a mansion full of people.

Director: Crane Wilbur
Stars: Vincent Price, Agnes Moorehead, Gavin Gordon
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A European prince terrorizes the local peasantry while using his castle as a refuge against the "Red Death" plague that stalks the land.

Director: Roger Corman
Stars: Vincent Price, Hazel Court, Jane Asher
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Charles Dexter Ward arrives at a small village to visit the house he inherited from his ancestor who died there 100 years ago.

Director: Roger Corman
Stars: Vincent Price, Debra Paget, Lon Chaney Jr.
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Vincent Price ... Frederick Loren
Carol Ohmart ... Annabelle Loren
Richard Long ... Lance Schroeder
Alan Marshal ... Dr. David Trent
Carolyn Craig ... Nora Manning
Elisha Cook Jr. ... Watson Pritchard (as Elisha Cook)
Julie Mitchum Julie Mitchum ... Ruth Bridgers
Leona Anderson ... Mrs. Slydes
Howard Hoffman Howard Hoffman ... Jonas
Skeleton ... Himself
Edit

Storyline

Eccentric millionaire Fredrick Loren and his 4th wife, Annabelle, have invited 5 people to the house on Haunted Hill for a "haunted House" party. Whoever will stay in the house for one night will earn ten thousand dollars each. As the night progresses, all the guests are trapped inside the house with ghosts, murderers, and other terrors. Written by Tony Mayer <tones120c@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The 13 greatest shocks of all time! See more »

Genres:

Horror | Mystery

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 February 1959 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The House on Haunted Hill See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$200,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The failure of the original copyright holder to renew the film's copyright resulted in it falling into public domain, meaning that virtually anyone could duplicate and sell a VHS/DVD copy of the film. Therefore, many of the versions of this film available on the market are either severely (and usually badly) edited and/or of extremely poor quality, having been duped from second- or third-generation (or more) copies of the film. See more »

Goofs

After Nora brings everyone to the cellar when Lance gets locked in the room you see Mr. Loren light a candle when he goes to enter, but the room itself lights up before he even enters the room. See more »

Quotes

Watson Pritchard: Four men have been murdered in this house, and three women.
Dr. David Trent: You certainly plan your parties very well, Mr. Loren, four of us are men, three are women, there's a ghost for everybody.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The end title credits list "Skeleton - By Himself" See more »

Connections

Featured in Smallville: Accelerate (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Theme
House on Haunted Hill"
by Richard Kayne and Richard Loring
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Price is right
19 November 2001 | by KakuekeSee all my reviews

I have watched my share of horror movies, altho I am not an expert on the genre, and I have seen different settings. Of course, there can be mixed settings: a film about Dracula may take you to the Transylvanian outdoors, to streets or graveyards, as well as into the castle or mansion or whatever. But one way horror movies can be categorized is by whether most or all of the film is within a residence, or not. Bearing this in mind, I think something special about horror films is having the victim(s) enclosed inside a mansion or home, with escape difficult or impossible, and terrorized by anything one can imagine -- moving furniture, metamorphosing paintings, spooks in the attic, odd remnants, lights on and off -- as part of the buildup for a real or expected attack, by a person or whatever. The terror, suspense, is believing someone or something is or may be there, but where, and when, will it strike? "The Shining," "Die! Die! My Darling," "Beyond the Door," Behind Locked Doors," "The Haunting." Although claustrophobia might generally be a negative for me in a movie, such as "Rear Window" (unlike most people, I do not really like it), in horror movies it is great, it makes the day. If one looks at things this way, "House on Haunted Hill" can be seen as the quintessential horror film.

Start with having Vincent Price in it, hopefully no arguments there. He plays Frederick Loren, the affluent host of a "party" in which he invites five people, not including himself and his wife, to a haunted mansion on a hill in a challenge for each person to win $10,000 (at today's value, about $100,000) if that person stays in the mansion all night. Among the five are Watson Pritchard (Elisha Cook Jr.), an alcoholic, whose endemically spooked countenance sets the tone for what everyone is getting into. Frightface or not, he bears an (eerie?) resemblance to evangelist Pat Robertson, whether or not he is actually as scary. Altho Pritchard owns the house, he has spent little time in it, but he is nevertheless the expert on the circumstances surrounding seven deaths, including that of his brother, on the premises over many years. Quickly, the other four get the message: they may be facing trouble. And trouble begins quickly. Part of the idea is that there is no escape out of the mansion after midnight, when the caretakers leave, and barricades ensure this.

Price's wife, Annabelle, is played by Carol Ohmart. She is striking blond, gorgeous, with very fair skin. In several scenes that I will not specify, her lightness is artfully contrasted against surrounding darkness by Director William Castle -- very beautiful, no special effects needed. Price has a jealous rage toward her and she in turn wants to get rid of him, as she has tried to do in the past. What will happen tonight?

Of the other four characters, the two with the stronger presences in the first half are Lance Schroeder (Richard Long), a handsome pilot, and Nora Manning (Carolyn Craig), a pretty typist for one of Loren's companies and the early lead screamer. The other two are newspaper writer Ruth Bridgers (Julie Mitchum), who has a gambling problem, and Dr. David Trent (Alan Marshal), a psychiatrist interested in the subject of scared people. A plot twist brings one of these latter two to greater prominence in the second half.

The creaky doors, the body parts, the unexplained incidents all do their part in a movie in which black & white is such an essential. The black & white cements the atmosphere we need for the "house" (mansion): from a distance, from a close-up at the start of the movie, and then inside the mansion, everywhere. For those who profess love for "Casablanca" and cry "sacrilege" when they see the colored version, I say, OK, the true version to me is the original, but the colorized version is just the colorized version, what's wrong with watching it too? The movie still works in color, doesn't it, even if it is preferable in black & white? To me, anyway. But as to "House on Haunted Hill" -- even if I similarly would not cry "sacrilege" to a colorized version, I ask, can you think of any other movie in which black & while is so essential, in which a colorized version would lose so much? Maybe you can, but I can't.

Loren, with his ulterior motives, has a smug, rather commanding aura, knowing that each of the five needs the $10,000. There can be skeletons in people's closets, yes. And as Loren's plans are threatened with derailment, keep this in mind.


49 of 64 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 224 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed