Skip to main content

the legend of hell house photo: The Legend of Hell House thelegendofhellhouseposter.jpg

             A team of paranormal investigators venture into the old, abandoned Belasco house for a four-day study.  They have been sent there by an eccentric billionaire searching for scientific proof concerning life after death - for or against.  The team consists of physicist Lionel Barrett, his wife Edith, and two mediums; Florence Tanner and Ben Fischer.  Fischer was the sole survivor of the previous investigation, and returns only on the promise of a big payday.  While Fischer cuts his psychic sensitivities off from the house, Florence immediately senses a myriad of tormented souls and is quickly in touch with a spirit named Daniel, who claims to be the son of the house’s evil owner Emeric Belasco.  This is the set-up for a ghost story out of Britain that is as effective today as it was when it was first released.  The film is 1973’s THE LEGEND OF HELL HOUSE.

More below!

            THE LEGEND OF HELL HOUSE stars Roddy McDowall and Clive Revill in roles that seem tailor made for them.  McDowell as the eccentric, reluctant medium Fischer and Revill as the no-nonsense, skeptical scientist.  Gayle Hunnicutt is wonderful as Lionel’s repressed wife, and Pamela Franklin is perfect as Florence Tanner, the talented medium who is nonetheless not as ’tuned-in’ as she thinks she is.  The film even features a cameo by Michael Gough as Emeric Belasco himself.

the legend of hell house photo: The Legend of Hell House 4 1246846-feKkjt8ccJ.jpg

    Under the confident, steady hand of director John Hough, the events unfold at a deliberate, yet brisk pace.  Clocking in at 95 minutes, the film packs a lot of story into that time.  Hough stages his camera angles to make us feel as if we are the house itself watching these people try and figure out what is going on - knowing much better than they just how over their heads they are.  It’s almost as if the house is a point-of-view character in this film just as much as our protagonists are.  It is interesting that few other films have tried telling a haunted house story from this angle before.

    Though now 40 years old, the film looks and feels as if it could have been made last year.  The photography, acting, and sound all translate well (only the score comes off as dated, but the film uses very little music).  THE LEGEND OF HELL HOUSE is a delicious “Old, dark house” story that is worth a look by anyone looking for a good ghost story to warm a cold night…

the legend of hell house photo: The Legend of Hell House 427842_10151211826563910_1500181164_n.jpg

THE LEGEND OF HELL HOUSE fun facts - Emeric Belasco was based on famed occultist Aleister Crowley

The location was changed from the US (it is in Maine in the novel) to Britain to better accommodate the British production.

Dialogue from this film has been sampled by Skinny Puppy and Orbital, to name a few.

the legend of hell house photo: The Legend of Hell House 2 1246846-z7hSGjLkk.jpg

Emeric Belasco - “Welcome to my house.  I’m delighted you could come… “

Ann Barrett - “You can‘t solve it.  It can not be solved.  You‘re going to die.”

Dr. Barrett - “It’s the Mount Everest of haunted houses.  There were two attempts to investigate it.  Both were disasters.  Eight people died.  Fischer was the only one who survived, and when he crawled out he was a mental wreck.”

Originally posted to cmcolin on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 08:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.


Haunted House movies?

68%57 votes
22%19 votes
2%2 votes
6%5 votes

| 83 votes | Vote | Results

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site