Long Forgotten continues its masterful inquiry into the horror movies that gave rise to Disney's Haunted Mansion.
This installment investigates the influence of three films: The Uninvited (one of the first horror movies to play for scares instead of laughs), 13 Ghosts (which brings us the idea of collecting ghosts to haunt your empty haunted house), and The Innocents (a scary-as-hell adaptation of Turn of the Screw, which gives us the corridor of doors):
It's 1960 and William Castle has found yet another way to suck loose change out of kids' pockets. This time it's a low-budget haunted house flick filmed in "Illusion-O," a typically schlocky Castle gimmick. The story in 13 Ghosts is pretty silly, and the special effects are only "special" in the same sense as "Special Olympics," but all is forgiven, because it's entertaining enough to carry you the necessary 84 minutes. Your eyes shall roll, but there are one or two legitimate scares (although not from the ghosts), and it's got a nice twist ending (even if it gets started a little too early). You also get a darn good performance from 11-year old Charles Herbert, a 21-year old Jo Morrow to ogle, and of course, the lovely Margaret Hamilton at no extra charge. Oh, and there's the telegram delivery guy near the beginning. Damn, he's good…
Creepy Old Flicks Part Three: The Uninvited, 13 Ghosts, The Innocents