Horror Hotel (1960)

HORROR HOTEL (1960)
(a.k.a. CITY OF THE DEAD)
Article #1701 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 11-10-2005
Posting Date: 4-9-2006
Directed by John Llewellyn Moxey
Featuring Patricia Jessel, Dennis Lotis, Christopher Lee

A young woman goes to a small town to do some research on witchcraft for a paper, but discovers that witchcraft hasn’t exactly died…

You want atmosphere? You got atmosphere! There’s more rolling ground fog in any one of several scenes here than you will find in five or six viewings of THE WOLF MAN. All the evil people let you know how evil they are from square one, and all the scared ones are REALLY scared. Actually, in my opinion, there’s too much atmosphere; I’d gladly trade some of it for something in the way of some good story twists or a couple of surprise revelations; as it is, the only thing that surprised me was that after the opening “burn-the-witch” sequence was that the plot didn’t go in the direction of having the burned witch take revenge on the offspring of those that killed her. Still, I may be protesting too much here; though I find the story predictable, individual scenes are quite good, the acting is fine, and it does work itself up to a delicious ending that really lingers in the memory. Oddly enough, I thought the plot structure seemed a little similar to that of PSYCHO in that the first half of the movie leads up to an investigation by a relative in the second half of the movie. Director John Llewellyn Moxey would go on to direct any number of TV movies during the seventies, and writer/executive producer Milton Subotsky would later join forces with Max Rosenberg (who does some uncredited production work on this one as well) to produce several anthology horror movies for Amicus.

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