Friday, October 23, 2009

Halloween Treat Links: House of Usher


Today's Halloween film is Roger Corman's HOUSE OF USHER -- God, what a delightful film. Isn't it funny to think of the timing-- CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN in '57, HORROR of DRACULA in '58, then USHER in '60?

Vincent Price is dangerous and lithe, an insane white-haired man of handsome looks and deep voice, convinced of the imminent failure of his body, soul and beloved, despised and crumbling house. "We are like figures of fine glass," he says pitiably, "the slightest touch and we may shatter."

And it's better-- better than Curse of Frankenstein, more mature of mood than any Hammer. And just sumptuous. HOUSE OF USHER is gorgeous in every frame, bursting with ominous reds and blues in every scene.

I mean, I've seen it before, but what a thrill to see it again.

Here's a book plug: These films deserve analysis. There are many books on gothic horror, but I have a place to start: I first loved Gothic horror as a child but never began to truly appreciate it until a few years ago on reading Bruce Wright's survey of the genre, Nightwalkers
. Since then I have longed to spend spare moments sinking into the "deep and dank tarn" of color and nightmare that is the Gothic period of film.

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