The Haunted Palace (1963) - Horror

Hohum Score

12

Watchable

Charles Dexter Ward arrives at a small village to visit the house he inherited from his ancestor who died there 100 years ago.

IMDB: 6.8
Director: Roger Corman
Stars: Vincent Price, Debra Paget
Length: 87 Minutes
PG Rating: N/A
Reviews: 6 out of 65 found boring (9.23%)

One-line Reviews (34)

The subject of witchcraft and burning witches has, and will always be absolutely fascinating and this film capitalises on that.

The remains of the curse that was left is pretty gruesome to watch, and they have some impressive make-up work as well as seeing several people lit on fire, another is viciously killed, and a corpse is seen in all it's burnt glory which is all quite enjoyable.

Extremely atmospheric Gothic Horror movie strings together all the cliché ingredients - a warlock put to death who promises a torturous revenge, an ominous castle, creepy graveyards, fog and shadows galore - and a nice hammy performance by Vincent Price as the cursed warlock and his grandson.

Lon Chaney, Jr. looks literally like something the cat dragged in, wholly appropriately, since he is playing a warlock.

The occasional tedium starts in the second third and predictable doesn't quite let up until the finale.

Whenever the film slips into one of its periodic lulls, we can always rely on Price to keep our attention until the lull has passed.

It's a little slow going at times.

The performances could have been improved upon, I felt, for whilst Vincent Price is sensational in the lead and Lon Chaney Jr, fine as a side kick, Frank Maxwell makes for a very dull doctor and Debra Paget is most uninspired.

It does get a little ponderous at times in the middle and while eerie in tone the music score is over-the-top.

An entertaining Gothic horror movie that fans of Corman and Price will love.

Despite the complexity and borrowing nature of the script, the story makes sense and is entertaining.

Vincent Price stars in a duel role of Ward and his ancestor Joseph Curwen, and gives an enjoyable performance.

Floyd Crosby's widescreen cinematography is also unrelenting, capturing the drab, muted blue and brown pastels of a Puritan village plagued by witchcraft.

The writing has some fun and macabre moments and the story delivers its suspenseful atmosphere and creepy scares wonderfully even if the enacting terrible revenge angle is familiar territory.

Entertaining and atmospheric (albeit loose) adaptation of Lovecraft's 'The Strange Case Of Charles Dexter Ward'.

Overall "The Haunted Palace" is not as good as the best in the Corman-Poe cycle, but it's still consistently enjoyable.

Not as good as Tales of Terror, but quite entertaining nonetheless.

Debra Paget and Frank Maxwell co-star in this gripping thriller where the upset townspeople rise up against the obvious curse, poised to come through thanks to the return of the stock's kinsman.

The ending is pretty exciting, from the secret experiments down in the basement with his resurrection spells leading into the by-now- usual ending of a burning down castle that makes for some nice action sequences as the flames get higher and higher with the fun of the approaching crowd and the chaotic action leading to a fine finale.

It gets the job done, and fans will find it worth watching for Price alone, who was worth watching in anything, and the appearance of legendary horror-actors Lon Chaney Jr., here looking like a lump of clay come to life, and the rabbity, objectionable Elisha Cook Jr., who was called "the lightweight heavy" for a reason.

Now despite these HUGE plot problems, the movie is still very entertaining and is better than most of Corman's later Poe tales.

A low budget product -though it looks as a non too low one at times- the picture is interesting and entertaining aided by a very well achieved atmosphere, fine settings, a good script and a competent cast.

THE HAUNTED PALACE is an enjoyable and brooding horror with the cast and director on top form, and so makes for rewarding viewing.

The script is extremely compelling, without dull moments whatsoever, and the set designs are magnificent: ground fogs, castles with creaking gates and secret doorways, loud thunderstorms...

Plot can be a bit contrived at times.

Colorfully filmed and hauntingly scored, thus is mesmerizing and totally fascinating.

THP has the typically Cormanesque padding; the story is too drawn out, with a number of scenes that don't serve the plot as much as they merely re-(re-)establish things that we already know.

It may be more compelling to have that character as an innocent at the beginning which would require someone other than Price.

With a fascinating torture chamber set, this shows the evil that men do in not so subtle visuals that may chill you to the bone.

All in all, very good and very enjoyable, I just wish that it had more attention.

Though the sets are creepy and the proper Gothic mood is achieved, this picture is made memorable solely by Price's compelling (and decidedly not hammy nor campy) performance.

Undeniably, 'The Haunted Palace' does have a rather ponderous pace and music score that makes the film seem stretched as Price wanders down just one more hidden corridor.

Entertaining .

Corman does an absolutely fantastic job of building atmosphere in this movie, and the village of Arkham is constantly foreboding and intriguing.