Netflix Horror Spotlight brings you Wicked Horror’s top picks for what to watch on Netflix, whether it’s the latest indie darling, a classic masterpiece or a silly slasher that deserves a little bit more attention. In this edition, Joey Keogh suggests spending a night with the legendary Vincent Price in the House On Haunted Hill.
As is customary with the best haunted house movies, the featured property (the real life Ennis Brown House in Los Feliz, the setting for much spooky genre fare) is laid out like a maze, the camera twisting around corners so we’re never quite able to get our bearings as the characters get lost themselves. Although the fact it was filmed entirely in black and white may turn certain, younger viewers off, the aesthetic only adds to the bizarre, almost Clue (Cluedo, for Brits)-esque setup.
The ace card of House On Haunted Hill is that it never quite confirms whether there are really ghosts in the house. An earth-shattering, expertly-placed jump scare is later revealed to be the work of less otherworldly beings while, elsewhere, simple things like doors closing by themselves, lights shutting off and a dripping ceiling establish the freaky atmosphere. There’s nary a spirit in sight and, aside from a head in a box and a vat of acid, there isn’t much in the way of gore. It’s all about the chilly atmosphere and the weirdness of the unknown.