House On Haunted Hill

House On Haunted Hill (1959)
Warner Home Video
Cast: Vincent Price, Carol Ohmart, Richard Long, Alan Marshal, Carolyn Craig
Extras: Theatrical Trailer

Warner’s release of the William Castle classic “House On Haunted Hill” contains the film’s fullscreen version as well as a 16×9 enhanced widescreen transfer in the film’s original 1.85:1 aspect ratio. The full frame transfer is an open matte transfer that actually adds picture information at the top and bottom of the frame. The transfers are both very clean and without overly noticeable noise or grain – other than over the opening credits sequence. Although some signs of age are evident in the black & white transfer, the image is very sharp and well defined. Compression is superb without pixelation or other compression artifacts.

The disc contains a monaural audio track in Dolby Digital that is well preserved, but contains a few audible distortions. Nonetheless, the presentation is excellent if not surprising, given the film’s actual age.

“House On Haunted Hill” is a great and suspenseful haunted house movie that gets everything right. From the sarcastic host of the deadly party, to skeletons and ghosts appearing with stinging surprise, this film is a truly suspensefully staged films of its genre.