Friday, April 21, 2017

Don't Watch This Alone!: THE HAUNTED PALACE

Welcome to another installment of DON'T WATCH THIS ALONE!, where we review the best, worst and everything in between in the world of horror. This week we review Roger Corman's horror classic, THE HAUNTED PALACE from 1963.

Although marketed as "Edgar Allen Poe's The Haunted Palace", this film is actually based off a novella, The Case of Charles Dexter Ward, by H.P. Lovecraft, who's well-known for his influential horror fiction.  The title was borrowed from a poem by Poe, which was later incorporated into his short story The Fall of the House of Usher.

I love finding films on cable/television that I haven't seen. The Haunted Palace is an interesting movie to say the least, and has all the makings of a memorable horror movie, including a warlock, black magic, and angry townspeople with torches.

The plot/storyline of this film is spine-tingling. A man, by the name of Joseph Curren, suspected of being a warlock, tries to put a whole village under his control for malevolent purposes. However, his plans are disrupted by the villagers. 110 years later, one of his descendants shows up and some strange events start occurring.

Horror master Vincent Price plays dual roles in this film, Joseph Curren and Charles Dexter Ward. Price should be familiar to most horror fans, as he was brilliant in this film and has worked with Roger Corman before in 1960's House of Usher, among many other horror projects. I really enjoyed how he went from being mild-mannered Ward to the lustful Curren.

One of the most engaging moments in this film was when Ward is looking at a painting of Joseph Curren and Curren's eyes started moving. His eyes were so creepy! The special effects were fantastic for the time period, including the mist and the aforementioned eyes moving in the painting. There was no blood or guts, however, I found it very suspenseful and I even jumped a few times while watching.

The Haunted Palace received a 71% approval on Rotten Tomatoes. Eugene Warmer of The New York Times gave a rather lukewarm review of it back in 1964. However, this film was suspenseful and I think it deserved more love from the critics. Vincent Price makes any movie worth watching at least once. So, if you are a fan of old horror, then you need to see this film.

Lisa's Score: 8/10

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