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as of: 6/06/05

The Legend of Hell House



out of 10


John Hough


Pamela Franklin .... Florence Tanner
Roddy McDowall .... Benjamin Franklin Fischer
Clive Revill .... Mr. (Lionel) Barrett
Gayle Hunnicutt .... Ann Barrett
Roland Culver .... Mr. (Rudolph) Deutsch
Peter Bowles .... Hanley
Michael Gough .... Emeric Belasco (uncredited)


I had heard great things about this movie and I really wanted to like it. It kind of let me down in the end and I left this one wondering why everyone calls it a classic. I'm a big fan of Richard Matheson, and I love haunted house stories, but this one just didn't click. Roddy McDowall (a physical psychic) and several other experts in their fields attempt to figure out the whats and whys of the haunted Belasco House ("Hell House", the Mt. Everest of haunted houses, according to Mr. Barrett). McDowall is the only survivor of a previous failed attempt to solve the haunting. Mr. Barrett is a skeptic and a scientist, and as such he doesn't have much use for the two psychics accompanying him into the house. He believes a machine he has created can reverse the electromagnetic field the house radiates and dispel the haunting. Does he succeed? Well, you'll just have to find out for yourself. The truth behind the haunting left me scratching my head and saying "Huh, the guy stuck around for THAT?". To each his own. There were some good moments and I liked the atmosphere most of the way through. I give this a pretty decent 6/10, but I would recommend renting this before buying. As an aside, I do seem to be in the minority on this one when it comes to my rating, so it might be better to view this on your own and make up your own mind.


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