Monday, April 6, 2009

The Legend of Hell House (1973)

"The Legend of Hell House" is the story about four people who try to prove that ghosts do exist.  They all spend a week in the haunted Hell House to conclude their theories.   

The movie is scary at points, but there is no real payoff.  The ending is very weird.  The ghost that has been haunting the house is angry because he was too short in life.  That's why he is killing the occupants of the house.  At the climax of the film, the body of the ghost is found.  After examining the body, it is realized that he was so upset with his height, that he cut off his legs and wore prosthetics to be a normal height.  It is a pretty funny premise.

The acting in the movie was really good however.  Roddy McDowell is excellent.  The scene where he really shines is when he confronts the ghost.  He pushes the ghost to its limits to defeat him once and for all.

There is one scene where the main character is being attacked by the ghost.  The dining room table is shaking violently, things are being thrown at him, the fireplace shoots flames at him, and a light fixture falls nearly killing him.  This scene was very intense, especially for 1973.

Another scene that seems to be pretty shocking for 1973 involves the ghost having sex with one of the girls at the house.  Because the ghost has penetrated her, he can now possess the girl.  It is a very strange scene to watch.

"The Legend of Hell House" is just an average movie with very good actors.  It tries to thrill the audience the same way "The Haunting" did years earlier, but it comes up short.


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