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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r


(aka 'The House on Haunted Hill')

directed by William Castle
USA 1959

 

Vincent Price plays Frederick Loren, an eccentric millionaire that invites five very different people to a haunted house for a party, and offers them $10,000 if they can stay the night... This film benefits emphatically from the presence of the legendary Vincent Price. As usual, Price gives a commanding performance and completely steals every scene he's in. Price is undoubtedly the star of the show, but he's not the only star in the show; Elisha Cook in particular gives excellent support playing the wimpy owner of the house; much the same character that he played in the Kubrick masterpiece; 'The Killing'. The rest of the cast is largely made up of unknowns and b-grade actors, but they also all perform to relatively high standards in their respective roles.

House on Haunted Hill's best feature other than the legendary Vincent Price, is undoubtedly the atmosphere of the house. Throughout the movie, there is an abundant sense of dread that is perpetually present and it serves the film well in that it brings the house to life; at every point in the movie, the audience is made to believe that there is something unseen in the house that will cause bad things to happen; and this is obviously exactly what a haunted house film needs. The film is very creepy in that way. That's not to say that this film is without its flaws; at times, the plot meanders and as the film only has a 75 minute running time, that's not good. It can also become a little dull at times as there isn't always a lot going on. This is, however, somewhat combated by the acting performances and defined characters as they usually manage to keep it at least interesting, if not enthralling throughout. House on Haunted Hill is topped off by a brilliant double twist, and it is also given certain originality by that also, although the twists do beg the question of whether or not the film has an appropriate title. The walking skeleton is hilarious, though and worth watching film for alone.

Overall, House on Haunted Hill is a lovely little b movie; it's creative, it's atmospheric and it stars Vincent Price. Highly recommended viewing, especially for horror fans. Definitely not recommended for anyone though, is the dire 1999 remake of this film. out of    
 

 Excerpt of The_Void review from IMdb located HERE

 

  Posters

Theatrical Release: February 17th, 1959

Reviews                                                                 More Reviews                                                                       DVD Reviews

 

Comparison:

20th Century Fox (Legend Films) - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Shout! Factory (part of The Vincent Price Collection II) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 

1) 20th Century (Legend Films - colorized) - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT

2) Shout! Factory (part of The Vincent Price Collection II) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - RIGHT

 

Box Covers

Distribution 20th Century Fox (Legend Films) Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:15:36  1:14:54.531
Video 1.33:1 Open Matte
Average Bitrate: 6.17 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s 

1080P Dual-layered

Disc Size: 45,303,336,188 bytes

Feature: 24,232,740,864 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 36.85 Mbps

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Bitrate: Blu-ray

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0)  DTS-HD Master Audio English 2034 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2034 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Commentary: DTS-HD Master Audio English 1890 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1890 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Subtitles None English (SDH), None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: 20th Century Fox (Legend Films) Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Open Matte 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• The Black and White version (see captures below)
• Commentary by Mike Nelson of MST3K
• Original Press Book
• Trailers

DVD Release Date: September 6th, 2005

Keep Case
Chapters: 12

Release Information:
Studio:
S
hout! Factory

 

1080P Dual-layered

Disc Size: 45,303,336,188 bytes

Feature: 24,232,740,864 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 36.85 Mbps

 

Edition Details:
Commentary with film historian
Steve Haberman

• Vincent Price: Renaissance Man (27:20)

The Art of Fear (12:13)

Working With Vincent Price (15:25)

Introductory Price (13:16)

• Stills Gallery (1:58)

• Trailer (1:40)

Vincent Price Trailer Gallery (19:27)

Blu-ray Release Date: October 21st, 2014
Custom Blu-ray Case

Chapters 12

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - October 14': We have already reviewed the first Vincent Price Collection on Blu-ray. This Blu-ray release is part of The Vincent Price Collection II which includes this title, The Return of the Fly, The Comedy of Terrors, The Raven, The Last Man on Earth, Tomb of Ligeia & Dr. Phibes Rises Again. Firstly the aspect ratio is notable. Shout! Factory have gone with a 1.78:1.  (theatrically 1.85:1) and this is certainly more accurate than the 1.33:1 of the Legend release. This is a also significant advancement in every visual area on the Blu-ray. It is cleaner on a dual-layered disc with a max'ed out bitrate. Contrast looks sweet and there is some depth and texture. It looks excellent in-motion.

Audio is transferred via a DTS-HD Master stereo at 2034 kbps. It also sounds very good with a score composed by Von Dexter who wrote music for other William Castle flics including The Tingler (1959), 13 Ghosts (1960), Mr. Sardonicus (1961). There are optional English subtitles on the region 'A'-locked Blu-ray disc.

Aside from the valuable commentary with film historian Steve Haberman, Shout! Factory add over an hour's worth of additional extras, initially available on the Vincent Price: MGM Scream Legends Collection DVD from 2007, including a 1/2 hour video piece entitled Vincent Price: Renaissance Man which reveals further interesting information about the man, The Art of Fear is a dozen minutes and Working With Vincent Price and Introductory Price delve further into the acclaimed actor, writer, and gourmet. There is a Stills Gallery, a trailer and a lengthy Vincent Price Trailer Gallery.

Typical William Castle - simple premise, less on the horror and more on the atmosphere and cheese.  But I like this - Price is his usual 'great' and I've come to appreciate the film's short running time. Solid support in the form of Elisha Cook Jr., Richard Long plus two pleasing gals; Carol Ohmart + Carolyn Craig. I enjoyed this with the stgrong a/v and plenty of extras and I will try to review/compare more from this second Vincent Price Blu-ray set in the near future.

***

 

ON THE DVD: We have stated with some of our other reviews of colorized prints (Carnival of Souls, Night of the Living Dead) that we are against any manipulation process from the original theatrical exhibition, but we are certainly not talking about Antonioni's L'Eclisse here. These colorized prints are usually public domain material of the classic 'B' horror genre and although I don't want to appear snobbish - the artistic merit of the films is generally not compromised and if the budget was available when first producing these old gems they would have made them color in the first place. The other problem with these films is what colors are supposed to be used? Unlike the Vertigo DVD which details where Harris and Katz went through an extensive ordeal to determine what the original colors (and sounds) were used for the restoration, some poetic license has definitely be done on these horror releases. Of course, the big positive is that the Black and White version has also been included - a respectful touch.

This looks very good - progressive and sharp with tight lines - I am impressed. Audio was a trifle weak but this print is in good shape and the colorization just seems to be improving with each release. There are no subtitles on either edition but the extras include another Mike Nelson commentary and some other historical data about the film. This is a super horror film for a late Friday night and we strongly recommend this DVD - no matter which edition you prefer.

Gary W. Tooze

 





 Menus


 

 

Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 

 


CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

Screen Captures

 

 

1) 20th Century (Legend Films - colorized) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) 20th Century (Legend Films - Black + White) - Region 1 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Shout! Factory (part of The Vincent Price Collection II) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) 20th Century (Legend Films - colorized) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) 20th Century (Legend Films - Black + White) - Region 1 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Shout! Factory (part of The Vincent Price Collection II) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) 20th Century (Legend Films - colorized) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) 20th Century (Legend Films - Black + White) - Region 1 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Shout! Factory (part of The Vincent Price Collection II) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) 20th Century (Legend Films - colorized) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Shout! Factory (part of The Vincent Price Collection II) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) 20th Century (Legend Films - colorized) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Shout! Factory (part of The Vincent Price Collection II) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) 20th Century (Legend Films - colorized) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Shout! Factory (part of The Vincent Price Collection II) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) 20th Century (Legend Films - colorized) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Shout! Factory (part of The Vincent Price Collection II) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

More Blu-ray Captures

 

 

Box Covers

Distribution 20th Century Fox (Legend Films) Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray




 

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