Synopsis: "A team consisting of a physicist, his wife, a young female psychic and the only survivor of the previous visit are sent to the notorious Hell House to prove or disprove survival after death. Previous visitors have either been killed or gone mad, and it is up to the team to survive a full week in isolation, and solve the mystery of the Hell House."
Once again, I am fooled by misleading poster art. Just FYI, there is no scene wherein a woman's bloody hand holds a miniature model of the Hell House, and there is certainly no giant skull with one green eye floating over it. And I waited the whole movie to see that scene! Skunked again.
Seriously, though, that's an awesomely iconic image that really sends a chill down one's spine. Since it's so well-remembered by the public, can you tell me why, oh, why the DVD cover designer turned up his or her nose at using it? And why they substituted a seemingly random screen-grab that (A.) not only tells you nothing of the film and does not make one want to see it, but (B.) is hard to even tell what it is.
Come on, people; use the famous poster art for the DVDs of horror movies like this and stop thinking you know better, 'cause you don't. Your college degree in art and design taught you nothing. Get your nose out of your Starbucks and realise that the movie poster artists of the past put you to shame, and then get over yourself and use their stuff.
And although the events in the film take place over the Christmas holidays, this is not a film to put on in December to cheer one up, but rather at Halloween or days thereabout. The spirit of peace and goodwill usually prevelent during the holidays doesn't penetrate these walls to the slightest degree. The atmospheric photography really bring an aura of foreboding fear that few other haunted house movies can match, much less surpass.
For a great review of the movie, check out the typically-insightful post at John Morehead's typically-insightful "Theofantastique" site. With stuff like that out there, I won't even embarrass myself with doing one.
In case the above reference leaves you stumped, here's the story. It's quite an interesting read! Makes you appreciate the availability and low prices of films for the individual now. Poor Roddy just lived at a bad time for movie collectors.
Wykehurst Park is an elegant 130 room 150 year old mansion located near the village of Bolney, East Sussex, in England. The house came into prominence in the early seventies when the external shots of the house were used to film the horror film, "The Legend of Hell House," a psychological horror film, where the house lends its image to the horrifying nature of the story. It is a gothic mansion with turrets and arches and conical roofs, and many architectural devices to give it the appearance of a fairytale mansion from bygone days. The large black gates are fashioned in wrought iron. Alongside these gates, massive griffins with spread wings, perch on either side, and guard the entrance to the property which leads through a pebble drive to a grassed patio surrounding it, descending to a garden laid to lawn at the back. If you are able to get right up to the French windows you will just be able to view a grand, wide, polished wood staircase beginning the passage to the numerous rooms and accommodation upstairs.
Wykehurst Place, Bolney, West Sussex, England, UK