(CW: Thirst, animal cruelty.)
The Legend of Hell House is a pretty solid, moody haunted house movie that’s leading up to an ending that has all the narrative heft of a Scooby-Doo reveal. Still, I’m inclined not to discount all the cool things this film does just because its ending is underwhelming. The set design is gorgeous, and I just love the entire vibe of the movie. The idea of a scientist and psychics working together to examine a haunted house is one that I’ve seen executed much more poorly, so it was a pleasant surprise to see it actually pulled off pretty well here. Roddy McDowell is pretty much always a plus for me, so there’s also that.
One more big thing in the negative column: there’s some animal cruelty in this movie in the form of a lady defending herself from a cat that’s freaking out and using excessive force to do so, knocking it across the room and whatnot. Later, we get a very brief but very graphic image of the same cat’s dead body, and obviously if you know me at all you know that’s a pretty big downer for me. Still, it didn’t really feel gratuitous or unjustified by the narrative. Just, if that’s something that’s an automatic “nope” for you, something to be aware of.
Counterbalancing this for me (though I’m sure for some people it would also be in the “nope” column) is a pretty explicit occurrence of ghost-on-human sex. I’m a pretty open book on the subject of monster sex, so I’m sure it comes as no surprise whatsoever that I fully support getting it on with a ghost as well. Especially doing so in a moody haunted house. This is pretty much 100% my aesthetic.