#353 The Legend of Hell House (1973)

Here’s the story. This old rich dude, Mr. Deutsch hires 3 people to prove or disprove survival after death, and what better place than the infamous Hell House? We have Florence Tanner who is a spiritual medium, Benjamin Fischer who is a physical medium, and Dr. Barrett who brings along his wife, Anne, and he is a renowned physicist. Fischer survived an incident in Hell House 20 years ago, so he thinks he can survive again and make a ton of money.

Keep in mind, this was 1973, and yet, they could easily remake this film now. Alas, I fear that it would lack the charm that this one had. There’s a lot to like in the spooky stuff, the special effects, and the cat, among other things. Roddy McDowall is really good in this. I know he gets hype for the Planet of the Apes franchise, but this may be his best role that I have seen him in, which isn’t saying a ton, as I haven’t seen a ton of his work. I really liked the unpredictable nature of this film, in that the spirits pick on people at random intervals. It’s not like a slasher where you get the spotlight and then you die. It’s a medium burn, not slow, but medium speed, probably fast for 1973. I took 2 notes during this.

Needless to say, millennials may not understand why this is a good film. I don’t know what to tell you. If you don’t get it, educate yourself. The ending was amusing to me, but it made a ton of sense. Yes, I can laugh and still appreciate the effectiveness of it. Atmosphere is almost always more important than just seeing stuff, most of the time. As long as there’s a pay off and not Paranormal Activity.

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Rating – 6.0 perfectly reasonable movie to have in your collection if you dig horror flicks, especially if you can appreciate the classics. For a 40+ year film, I feel that it did a great job.

All the pictures used in this blog are for review purposes. They are the property of Academy Pictures Corporation and whoever else may own this film. Please go find a copy and support the creators. It’s on NetFlix, so go watch it.

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