In this review, we’ll explore the film’s setting and the gimmick of William Castle, as well as the famous Ennis House in Los Feliz and the sound stages. We’ll also learn more about Vincent Price’s role as the wealthy oddball, Frederick Loren. You’ll learn about the haunted mansion and its location. You’ll also get a closer look at the cast, which includes Vincent Price, Patricia Neal, and Richard Gere.
Vincent Price’s House on Haunted Hill
In the Vincent Price’s House on Haunted Hills movie 1959, a rich, oddball man, Frederick Loren, plans a wedding for five guests in his haunted mansion. His estranged wife, Annabelle, is his guest of honor. The two devise a plot to frighten his associate, Nora Manning (Carolyn Craig), into saying no. Then, more spooks turn up, throwing the whole plan off course.
Annabelle’s entrance into the house is one of the highlights of the movie. Annabelle is a spectral child, which makes the film all the more creepy. A wealthy industrialist named Frederick Loren rents out his haunted house for one night only at the request of his wife, who thinks her estranged wife is after his fortune. Frederick Loren offers a $10,000 prize to the first person to survive. The guests are given pistols to fight off the ghosts, which is a nice touch. The spooky spirit Annabelle summons is a prankster called Dr. Trent, who plots to trick one of the guests into shooting him.
Despite some flaws in the film’s execution, its actors are fantastic. Carol Ohmart is excellent, but Vincent Price steals the show with his suave presence and wonderful voice. The cinematography is great, the soundtrack is superb, and the characters are solid. This is a terrific film that offers undeniable entertainment value. In the end, despite its over-the-top style, Vincent Price’s House on Haunted Hill is still a fun, memorable, and genuinely creepy movie.
Castle is also credited with creating the “Emergo” promotional gimmick. This gimmick involved flying a plastic skeleton over the heads of the audience at top speed while Castle pulled a cord. Although audiences were terrified during the first showings, the effect became so popular that the film’s promotional stunt became a sport for many moviegoers. Many teens took part in the competition and tossed candy at the skeleton.
After the success of the original film, Vincent Price’s estate purchased the rights to the film and filmed a remake in 1963. The film received mediocre reviews at the box office, but the remake was a huge hit. Warner Home Video released a colorized version of the movie in 2005, and was widely panned. It received mixed reviews, and it was remade into a sequel, Return to House on Haunted Hill, but the film’s fans were not happy with the remake.
William Castle’s Castle gimmick
This cool gimmick originated in a 1959 film starring Vincent Price, called House on Haunted Hill. It involved a giant plastic skeleton and was filmed in select cinemas. This gimmick, known as “Emergo,” was meant to scare unsuspecting moviegoers. But, juvenile audiences were able to catch up with the skeleton by shooting it with slingshots.
This gimmick comes from a 1959 horror film called “House on Haunted Hill.” It’s based on a novel by William Castle, who wrote and directed the movie. He conceived the film as hucksterism, using stunts and taking out insurance policies for the audience. In one scene, he wired theatre seats with electric shock buzzers, and another scene featured a skeleton being winched across the theatre in a strange manner.
As a director, Castle had created several gimmicks in his career, but his first major success was his ‘Emergo’ gimmick. In his 1958 film, he offered a $1000 life insurance policy to cinemagoers, and he even made the first movie where an actor spoke directly to the audience. Castle went on to use his gimmicks in subsequent films, including “13 Ghosts” (1960), “Mr Sardonicus,” and the ‘Zotz’ remake by William Malone. This time, Taye Diggs and Geoffrey Rush star in the remake. Vincent Price was impressed by the gimmick and agreed to star in two films with Castle, one with the remake and one with the original film.
In the original House on Haunted Hill film, five unrelated strangers are invited to spend the night in the haunted house. If they survive, they are rewarded with $10,000 each. Then, one of them dies. A similar scenario occurs in the remake of HAUNTED HILL (1959).
Aside from producing and starring the spooky movie “Homicidal” in 1961, William was a big fan of Alfred Hitchcock. In House on Haunted Hill, Castle drew inspiration for his own Psycho (1960). The success of the House on Haunted Hill movie was the motivation for Alfred Hitchcock to produce the original Psycho.
Filming at the Ennis House in Los Feliz
The house was first known as the Ennis-Brown House until the 1980s, when it was donated to the Trust for Preservation of Cultural Heritage. The eight owners were Augustus O. Brown, a businessman and a former resident of Los Feliz. In 2005, the house reverted to its original name, Ennis House Foundation. The house was owned by the foundation from 1980 to 2011 and was a frequent film location.
The exterior of the Ennis House was used in the 1959 horror movie, which was based on the Usonian style. The house’s interiors were shot on sound stages. It was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1924. This movie also featured the Ennis House as an old, haunted residence. Filming on the exterior of the home helped create the creepy, 1920s atmosphere that is iconic to the House on Haunted Hill series.
The Ennis House in Los Feliz was used for filming for the horror movie House on Haunted Hill in 1959. It was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and completed in 1927. It has been featured in countless films and television shows. Filmmakers have long been interested in shooting in the house. In 1959, filming at the Ennis House took place on a sound stage in Los Feliz. This house was also used for the interior of The Rocketeer movie and the first installment of the series.
Another famous Los Feliz location is the Ennis House. Its original interior was used in South Park’s episode “Wing.” The Ennis House is a stunning Frank Lloyd Wright house in the heart of Los Feliz. Filming here was completed in the summer of 1959 and has since been featured in many other movies. Throughout the years, the Ennis House has become a treasure for the Los Feliz filming community.
Besides the film, the house has been the location for many music videos, including the 3T song “Why.” Ricky Martin and Michael Jackson have also used the house in music videos. The house is currently on the market for $23 million. You can visit the Ennis House in Los Feliz to see the haunted house from the first-person perspective.
Filming on sound stages
Most of the House on Haunted Hill movie was shot on sound stages, but some of the exterior scenes were shot on real locations, including the Ennis House designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1924. Other locations were built on sound stages and included the 1890s Victorian style with gas chandeliers. Filming on sound stages helped keep costs down, and the resulting film is more realistic than most other horror movies.
The House on Haunted Hill movie was directed by William Castle and screenplay by Robb White. Vincent Price stars as an eccentric millionaire named Frederick Loren, who invites five friends to a party at his house. Unfortunately, the house is haunted by ghosts, and the guests find themselves trapped inside the home. The film was shot on sound stages at the Ennis House in Los Feliz, California.
Filming on sound stages made the movie a hit. Filming took place on different stages of the sound studio. Some of the sound stages were used for special effects such as fog or snow. The movie was released to theaters on Allied Artists’s label in 1959. It was later released on VHS cassette on CBS/Fox Video in 1985. Warner Home Video released the film on DVD as part of the 1999 remake. Legend Films colorized the movie in 2005.
In the movie, Vincent Price plays eccentric millionaire Frederick Loren, who rents out a haunted house for one night and promises a prize of $10,000 to the first guest to survive. The haunted house’s rooms are filled with ghouls and ghosts, but the ghosts aren’t the only ones who appear in the film. In addition to the eccentric millionaire, there are two other notable actors: Lance Schroeder, a pilot, Watson Prichard, a psychiatrist, and Nora Manning.