The Lampoons: House on Haunted Hill

I say this a lot, but this show felt surgically executed to appeal to me: an absurdist sketch comedy set in a haunted house you say? Oh, and it’s got not one but four Vincent Prices? Yup that’ll do it.

House on Haunted Hill is a bizarre parody of 1950s/60s style haunted house movies – think anything Vincent Price was in. In particular the script follows the old classic “spend a night in a haunted house for cash” situation. There’s more than a little hint of Scooby Doo in here too, but this is certainly not a show for kids. Equal parts disgusting and lewd, it’s a grossout take on the genre that’s got some surprisingly effective horror visuals that are a bit properly spooky. The casting is also great, and Vincent Price isn’t the only character who’s played by more than one member.

There’s a huge range of comedy too: ludicrously exaggerated characters, visual gags, musical segments and some of the best audience interaction I’ve seen this year. It’s got everything covered for a great late-night evening out. More than anything it’s got a serious flair for the unexpected, which is a fantastic asset for any comedy show, but suits the ghost story theme perfectly.

There’s not much else to say about House on Haunted Hill. I will say it’s a little slow in places and ends a bit abruptly, but this does little to damage the pacing from a comedy perspective. It makes for a less satisfying ghost story than I would have liked but House on Haunted Hill isn’t out to be scary. It’s out to be funny and pulls that off in style. I was always going to like this one – four Vincent Prices!!! – but I certainly wasn’t the only person having a good time. If you’re out and about on a late night at The Fringe you can’t afford to miss this one.

★★★★

Keiran Burnett

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