The Haunted Palace


Action / Horror

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 71%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 67%
IMDb Rating 6.8 10 4720


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December 16, 2013 at 07:26 PM



Vincent Price as Charles Dexter Ward / Joseph Curwen
Debra Paget as Ann Ward
Elisha Cook Jr. as Peter Smith / Micah Smith
Lon Chaney Jr. as Simon Orne
697.05 MB
23.976 fps
1hr 27 min
P/S 6 / 15

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by ben hibburd 7 / 10

The Haunted Palace Review.

The Haunted Palace Is directed by legendary B movie film-maker Roger Corman, and Is written by Corman's long term collaborator Charles Beaumont. The film Is an adaption of a novella by H. P. Lovecraft and and It's title taken from a poem by Edgar Allen Poe. The Haunted Palace tells the story of a necromancer named Joseph Curwen(Vincent Price). After performing a strange ritual on a young girl, the local townspeople accuse him of being a warlock. He Is then burnt alive by the villagers of Arkham. In his final moments Curwen vows to return and exact vengeance upon the townspeople, and places a curse on them.

One hundred and ten years later his descendant Charles Dexter Ward(Vincent Price In a duel role), and his wife Ann(Debra Paget) arrive in Arkham after Inheriting the palace of Joseph Curwen. During their stay Charles begins to fall under the control of Josephs spirit, and begins to replicate his ritual of summoning a Demon with the use of the Necronomicon.

I watched the Arrow Video blu-ray release, and they did a marvellous job of restoring the film, the picture quality breathes new life Into the film. The set design Is a fairly standard B movie Gothic town, but one that has a lot of charm, and has a good atmosphere In the fog ridden town, that Is plagued with fear and animosity from the malformed residents that have been effected by Curwen's curse.

Vincent Price gives a fantastic commanding performance, which at times can feel a bit stagy, but works well when he's portraying two different personalities. The good direction from Corman never allows for any confusion as to who's currently inhabiting Wards body at any given time. Debra Paget also does good work In her final film role as Wards wife Ann. She becomes more robust, and hands on, In finding out what's happening to him as she notices the change In him. Paget along with Price bring a level of class to a film that could easily of felt silly. The film Is also helped along by good supporting performances from Lon Chaney Jr. as the Palace's caretaker, and Frank Maxwell the town doctor that helps Ann Investigate the strange occurrences.

The film also contains of the best scores Iv'e heard from a Horror film. It's orchestral style waltz Is used to great effect. The only real complaints I have with the film was that despite It's excellent build up the film fell a bit flat In It's third act. Also despite this being a Lovecraft adaptation we only get one quick glance of the demon that was being summoned. This plot line was disappointing, It felt rushed and In the end was completely Inconsequential. For the most part this film worked better as a straight up revenge film, as Curwen begins bumping off the townsfolk. There Is a-lot of fun to be had with The Haunted palace, It's just a shame It's let down by the screenplay which had a- lot of potential but doesn't go anywhere with the more interesting supernatural elements.

Reviewed by Smoreni Zmaj 7 / 10

It's not Poe, it's Lovecraft :)

Sixth of eight Roger Corman movies based on Edgar Allan Poe is not based on Poe at all. It took title from Poe's poem, but plot is based on novel The Case of Charles Dexter Ward by H.P. Lovecraft. If you are familiar with work of H.P.L. it will be very obvious during whole movie. But it can pass for Poe, to be completely honest. Recognizable Corman's directing, phenomenally creepy Vincent Price and deeply disturbing atmosphere typical for H.P.L. achieved almost without any special effects and explicit horror, combination that never gets old.


I hate "your review does not contain enough lines" warning. Why would I have to spoil perfectly nice review with additional nonsense just to reach senseless limit...

Reviewed by GL84 10 / 10

Underrated Price/Poe edition

Arriving in town to inherit a family-owned castle, a man and his wife find the local villagers warning them away in fear of a curse about an ancestor crucified and burned for being a witch, and they soon fear it has returned and set out to stop him from reliving his actions.

This is one of Price's more underrated efforts. One of the most impressive elements here is that this one really joins the others in the others in the series by making the mood in here very apparent from the outset. The opening scene is extremely moody, with the large amounts of fog, the dark night, and the angry mob make for great Gothic undertones while parlaying the perfect set-up used for the story of witchcraft and secret curses displaying the right action for the sequence as well. That is also stated elsewhere, as the de-rigeur castle is one of the better ones from the time period that looks suitably spectacular with the long hallways leading off into the distance, the large elaborate and brightly-detailed paintings, cobweb filled rooms, candle-lit rooms and large, open Gothic chamber-spaces also adding to it's charm and are all mood- inducing ways of getting the best out of the film, and it works marvelously. Likewise, with the cliff-top locale and the constant, raging thunderstorm blaring away in the background it makes for quite an impressive effort. This is aided along nicely by the idea of the curse coming back to the present-day inhabitants which makes for a great overall viewing experience, and carries on the usual antics found in these types of Gothic efforts. It feels quite modern because of this, and it's hard to believe that it came from the early 60s by going far more into those traditional tropes featured here and even making this quite violent for it's time mixing between the supernatural antics of his curse and the mutants of the original story. 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. 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. Finally, getting together Price and Chaney is a great coup and allows for two greats of the genre opportunities for scenery- chewing performances, and both do commendable jobs. There's only one real factor to this one that holds it back which is the somewhat stumbling pace. It moves a little slow compared to most modern horror films as after the promising set-up, the film slows a bit down in the middle section with his gradual descent into possession following their exploration of the castle really taking up a bit too much time than normal. This is the only real complaint about this one.

Today's Rating/PG-13: Violence

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