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'The Legend of Hell House' Blu-ray Review

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'The Legend of Hell House'


In the 1970's descriptive jargon like the metaphysical, psychic phenomena, and clairvoyance, became novel buzz words that opened the door to what now has become basic cable pay dirt. Ghost hunters are a dime a dozen and paranormal states frequently visited. In the seventies a haunted house was just that. A curiosity, a place were good as well as evil dwelt. The spirit world was a mystical hope in the minds of ones who believed. In 2014 anyone with a flashlight, a dark corner, and a REM sleep memory can claim their own spook filled reality. 1973's 'The Legend of Hell House' delivers the scares beyond the more modern hype.

The Belasco House is wicked. It was the unholy home of Emeric Belasco (Michael Gough). Two paranormal investigation teams have been undone by this place of evil. Now, a third group has been chosen to finally uncover the truth about life after death and the infamous realities and hidden atrocities this horror holds. Physicist Lionel Barrett (Clive Revill), his wife Ann (Gayle Hunnicutt), young medium Florence Tanner (Pamela Franklin), and Benjamin Franklin Fischer (Roddy McDowall) a medium who is the sole survivor of the previous investigations arrive and are immediately overwhelmed this mansion's hideous nature. The team goes on a wild ride from the moment they enter their week long investigation. They face invisible forces, physical possession and assault, lapses of reality, and all manner of vice ridden discomfort. The house has killed before and it seems to want more.The ending is wonderfully satisfying and a palpable sense of dread keeps this atmospheric classic's grip on you beyond the closing frame.

Directed by British film maker John Hough from a screen play written by Richard Matheson based on his own novel "Hell House, 'The Legend of Hell House' is pure sweetness for any horror lover. Scream Factory has done a glorious job with this Blu-ray edition. The picture brings you all the scary details just as they first frightened audiences on the big screen, and the soundtrack is equally wonderful and atmospheric. Special features include a commentary by Pamela Franklin, an interview with Director John Hough, theatrical trailers, photo gallery, and radio spots.

In the lexicon of horror film spook-shows this little beauty stands the test of time. 'The Legend of Hell House' is a visceral manifestation of every haunted house fear. A waking nightmare with a degenerate twist that we all secretly want to ride.