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The Legend of Hell House back to product details

Not a bad haunted house movie, but the book is better
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written by ColonelKong October 16, 2003 - 9:02 PM PDT
5 out of 5 members found this review helpful
For anyone who's read Richard Matheson's Hell House, this is going to seem like a pretty compromised version of it (which Matheson scripted himself), but it's a pretty solid British haunted house movie. For one thing, a movie version of Hell House that was really faithful to the book would be an NC-17 due to sexual content, and there's one or two scenes in the novel that were left out of the movie due to either budget or the limitations of special effects in the 70s. (It would be interesting to see Sam Raimi or someone like that make a really faithful movie based on Hell House, but I don't think that's going to be commercially viable anytime soon.) Still, I think that fans of haunted house movies will find a lot to enjoy here, and it has some quasi-science fiction elements that some might find interesting. The movie was nicely shot by Alan Hume (Return of the Jedi, Lifeforce) and occasionally almost has a color-drenched Hammer look to it. (The story was transplanted to Britain from Maine) The "chapters" of the movie are divided by onscreen text showing the date and time, somewhat similar to Kubrick's The Shining, which this film predates by about seven years.

My three favorite haunted house movies are probably Robert Wise's The Haunting, Stanley Kubrick's The Shining, and Alejando Amenabar's The Others; Legend of Hell House isn't in the same league with those films, but it's worth a look if you're a fan of any of them.

12345678910

(Average 6.63)
57 Votes
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