Welcome, fellow epicures in the terrible, to my haunted house of horror! I am delighted you could come. For thirty-odd years now I have been an avid fan of horror movies - the good, the bad, and the downright ugly! Drawing inspiration from Geoff Woodbridge’s excellent 365Horror (http://365horror.co.uk) I have decided to post reviews of the many horror films currently in my DVD collection (I have no idea how many that is, but it’s a fair few, to say the least). Unlike Mr Woodridge, however, I don’t intend to watch a film every day – that would hardly be fair on my partner - but as and when the mood takes me. Fortunately, that’s likely to be quite often! Should anyone feel that they have been lured here under false pretences, let me say at the outset that I have no qualifications as a film critic, but have embarked on this exercise purely in a spirit of fun. In other words, if you feel that I haven't got a clue what I'm talking about and that these reviews are crud, don't worry, I shan't be the least bit offended (though watch yourselves next time you're walking alone down a dark and foggy street...).
I have loved horror movies ever since I was allowed by my parents to stay up late one night to watch Ford Beebe’s Night Monster (1942) on BBC2, back when the BBC used to run seasons of horror movie double-bills during the summer months (we’re talking the late ‘70s/early ‘80s). I was 12 years old. Night Monster is a creaky murder mystery about a legless cripple who learns how to ‘will’ himself new legs so that he can creep around his old mansion bumping off the doctors responsible for the amputation. I guess my parents thought an old black and white horror movie couldn't be very frightening, but they were wrong: it scared the living daylights out of me! Sadly, I doubt it would do so now (I have yet to pick it up on DVD), but it will forever hold a special place in my heart.
Prior to that, I’d persuaded (or, more accurately, pestered) my mother to buy me Denis Gifford’s ground breaking Pictorial History of Horror Movies for my birthday and had spent many hours alone reading about the classics of the previous 50 years that I had yet to see, while the book’s generous helping of stills and photographs helped fire my imagination. I was drawn to one picture in particular, the poster for William Castle’s House on Haunted Hill (1959).
For me, at the time, this poster summed up everything I was looking for in a horror film: a huge, labyrinthine house, filled with mystery and dark twisting corridors; nameless horrors lurking in the flickering shadows of every candlelit room; hideous deaths at the hands of frightening supernatural agencies; and Vincent Price up to no good as the epitome of suave, sophisticated evil. So pivotal was this picture to my conception of horror films that when I finally got to see the film in the mid-‘80s I couldn’t help but be disappointed. Since then, however, I have come to accept it on its own terms and it is now one of my favourite ‘fun’ horror movies, a classic of its own kind and an influence on more recent, darker fare (Marc Evans’s My Little Eye (2002) springs to mind). I even have a replica of the poster hanging in my hall, courtesy of my partner, Jamie, to whom this site is dedicated.
So, without further ado, let us begin. In the words of the late Emeric Belasco, erstwhile ghost in residence at a certain Hell House in Maine, I hope you will find your visit here "most illuminating....May you find the answer that you seek. It is here, I promise you."
Hee hee hee....