Don’t you hate it when you watch a movie and it reminds you of another movie, but you can’t put your finger on which one? House of Long Shadows (1983) is like that for me, and I still can’t figure out what it reminds me of. It’s listed as a parody-horror, I’m not sure what that means exactly, on Wikipedia; yes, I know it’s a reliable source. I’m tempted to put it in the same category as Murder By Death (1976) or Clue (1985), even though they aren’t horror, then again, neither is this.
House of Long Shadows has an interesting cast, and great setting. I’m not sure if I’ve seen anything else Desi Arnaz, Jr played in, but that doesn’t matter because I’m not going out of my way to find out since he isn’t a great actor.
The story is about Kenneth Magee making a bet with his publisher that he can write a great book in twenty-four hours. He goes to Baldpate Manor for seclusion, quickly learning the old house isn’t empty, and more and more people arrive, distracting him from sitting down to write.
The movie is cheesy and quirky, but I didn’t expect anything less with the menagerie they put together for the cast; Vincent Price, Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, and John Carradine. The few random effects add to the bizarre atmosphere. The one thing I’m really missing from House of Long Shadows is the scream count, it’s quite low. Had there been more, or maybe if the screams had been more heartfelt, the status of this movie would’ve risen.
For a Thriller being mislabeled as Horror, House of Long Shadows isn’t the worst thing I’ve ever seen (I won’t mention the ending), and I give it 3.5 out of 5 Stars.