This classic version of "House on Haunted Hill" is one of the most entertaining examples of the low-budget, black-and-white horror films that used to be such a mainstay for movie fans. It has few frills, but it does have some thrills, and in particular it has a cleverly written story that is told at a brisk pace, with a good deal of interesting and pleasingly macabre detail.
Horror legend Vincent Price is in his element as the mysterious millionaire who invites a houseful of guests to spend the night in a supposedly haunted mansion, and his performance will give his fans everything that they expect. The supporting cast is solid, led by Elisha Cook, who is very good as a nervous, tipsy character whose rambling proclamations of doom add the right touch of offbeat suspense. The settings are given plenty of detail that makes the characters' explorations of the house even more interesting.
The story is nicely written for the genre, making very good use of the possibilities in the setup, throwing in some good turns, and resolving everything in a resourceful fashion. And it's not without some real suspense - even those who normally watch low-budget horror features solely for the camp factor might get an actual start once or twice as everything plays out. And even if you don't find anything scary, there is plenty here that makes it enjoyable to watch.