House of Ghosts - 2012
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Most independent horror film companies in business today (such as Troma, Full Moon, and Wild Eye) focus on resurrecting and paying homage to the B-slasher and exploitation films of the 1970s and 1980s. Here at A Slice of Horror we are huge fans of slasher and exploitation films and are always to excited see new content released.

However we are an even bigger fans of the classic chiller and b-horror movies from the 1950s. One independent film company, Saint Euphoria Pictures, decidedly focuses on making black and white films in the style of 1950s B-horror and sci-fi.

Their 2012 "Old Dark House" style flick"House of Ghosts"—is directly inspired by the movies of classic horror tycoon William Castle. In particular the film takes cues from, arguably, Castle's best film: "House on Haunted Hill" starring none other than the master of horror Vincent Price.

In "House of Ghosts" a group of eccentric rich folks come together for a dinner party—a ghost party. While they sit down to dinner a winter storm rages outside. Soon it appears that the group will have no choice but to stay the night in the old Victorian style house.

But, before they can all turn in for the night they have a spiritual medium come in and "open the portal" to the realm of the undead. The medium's strange new machine flickers and pops but ultimately seems to do nothing. It seems like a hoax to the party members. But the Medium warns them that the portal is open and there is no telling what will come through.

As the night wears on it seems there may have been more to the medium's warnings then they first gave heed. After one of the party members is found dead and two others are missing the remaining group splits up to search the house. What ensues is a night of shrieks, chills, and all out creepy fun.

"House of Ghosts" brilliantly captures the spirit of "the old dark house" genre and creates a surprisingly chilling, if not funny, film homage. It is apparent that Christopher R. Mihm, (writer and director) pays careful attention to the smallest detail, lovingly recreating special effects, camera angles, lighting, and sounds that would convince many viewers that they were actually watching a 1950s B-movie.

The story is simple and never tries too hard to over complicate the plot with meaningless dialogue or confusing twists. However, many of the scenes do feel as if they tend to drag on in an attempt to build both character and tension. The actors won't win any awards for their performances but do a excellent job of creating the characters who are recognizable from most 1950s B-films.

But the ultimate element that makes "House of Ghosts" pay off are the creepy scenes, especially the deaths. While the narrative remains humorous there is still a certain amount of true creepiness that is saturated into this style of film making. I find myself both laughing and shivering nervously as I watch a scene where a man is attacked by rubber spiders or a woman is frightened by a walking skeleton. The movie knows its style and never tries to take itself too seriously.

Summing it Up

"House of Ghosts" ranks as one of the most enjoyable and creative independent films I have seen in recent years. I would be excited to see more film companies decide to emulate the style of 1950s B-horror. It is a breath of fresh air in the horror community that I've only seen done by one other group (the people behind "The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra"). So if you're a fan of classic B-horror and a fan of modern low-budget film making then make sure to check this one out.

Deaths: 6
Language: 0
Gore Factor: 1
Sex Factor: 0
Scare Factor: 2
Fun Factor: 5
Overall Rating: 4.5