25 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS REVIEW: EDWARD SCISSORHANDS

CAST
Johnny Depp (Public Enemies)
Winona Ryder (Black Swan)
Dianne Wiest (The Lost Boys)
Anthony Michael Hall (The Dark Knight)
Kathy Baker (13 Going on 30)
Conchata Ferrell (Two and A Half Men)
Vincent Price (The Fly)
Alan Arkin (Argo)
Marc Macaulay (Swamp Thing: The Series)
An elderly woman tells her granddaughter a bedtime story of where snow comes from, by telling her the story of a young man named Edward who has scissors for hands. As the creation of an old Inventor, Edward was a human-like boy who had everything except for hands. The Inventor suffered a fatal heart attack and died before he could give real hands to Edward.
Local Avon saleswoman Peg Boggs visits the decrepit Gothic mansion on the hill where Edward lives. She finds Edward alone. She is at first startled, but, upon realizing he means well and is virtually harmless, takes him to her home. Edward becomes friends with Peg’s young son Kevin and her husband Bill. He later falls in love with the Boggs’ beautiful teenage daughter Kim, despite her initial fear of him.
Peg’s neighbors are impressed by Edward’s adept hedge-trimming and hair-cutting skills, though an eccentric religious fanatic named Esmeralda and Kim’s overbearing boyfriend Jim are fearful and contemptuous of him. Joyce, an ageing, unfaithful housewife in the Boggs’ neighborhood, has become fascinated with Edward and suggests that Edward open a hair-cutting salon with her. While examining a proposed site, she attempts to seduce him in the back room, causing Edward to leave in a panic.
Wanting money for a van, Jim takes advantage of Edward’s ability to pick locks to break into his parents’ house to steal from his wealthy but bullying father. The burglar alarm sounds and everyone except Edward flees after he is trapped by the automatic locks triggered by the alarm, despite Kim’s insistence that they return for him. Edward is arrested and released when a psychological examination reveals that his isolation allowed him to live without a sense of reality and common sense. Upon questioning by Peg, Edward takes full blame for the robbery. Infuriated by Edward’s rejection, Joyce claims that he had tried to rape her. During the Christmas season, Edward is feared and cast out by almost everyone except the Boggs family. When Edward returns home he reveals that he knew it was Jim’s house they were trying to rob and that he did it because Jim asked him to, much to Kim’s shock. This in turn causes Kim to show a sour demeanor towards Jim.
While the family is setting up Christmas decorations, Edward creates a large angel ice sculpture (modelled on Kim). The shavings create an effect of falling snow, which Kim dances under. Jim arrives and calls out to Edward, startling him, resulting in Edward accidentally cutting Kim’s hand. Jim accuses Edward of intentionally harming her and attacks him. Edward runs away, wandering the neighborhood in a rage. Kim, fed up with Jim’s behavior towards Edward, breaks up with him, and he goes to his friend’s van to get drunk. While Peg and Bill search for Edward, he returns and finds Kim alone in the Boggs’ house. She asks Edward to hold her, but he is afraid that he will hurt her. She pulls his arms around her and they embrace. Jim returns to the Boggs’ house in a drunken rage to confront Kim, forcing his friend to drive his van while inebriated. Kevin is almost run over, but Edward pushes him out of the way, cutting Kevin’s arms and face, causing witnesses to think he is attacking him. When the police arrive, Edward flees to his hilltop mansion as the neighbors pursue. Kim runs to the mansion, reuniting with Edward. Jim follows her and attacks them with a handgun, beating Edward severely, who refuses to fight until Jim strikes Kim across the face when she intervenes. Edward stabs Jim in the stomach, causing him to fall out a window to his death. Kim confesses her love for Edward and they share a kiss before saying goodbye. Kim tells the townspeople that Edward and Jim fought each other to death and tells them that the roof caved in on Edward, showing them a discarded scissor-hand from the Inventor’s lab. The neighbors return home with Joyce feeling guilty for framing Edward being the one causing the neighbors to hate Edward.
The elderly woman, revealed to be Kim herself, finishes telling her granddaughter the story, saying that she never saw Edward again. She chose not to visit him because she wanted him to remember her the way she was in her youth. She believes that Edward is still alive, seemingly immortal since he can never age. It is revealed that Edward creates the town’s snow by carving ice sculptures that scatter shavings over the neighborhood.
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This has always been my fav childhood film & now it looks even more amazing than it did back then.

HALLOWEEN OF HORROR REVIEW: HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL (1959)

CAST

Vincent Price (The Fly)
Carol Ohmart (Wild Youth)
Richard Long (The Big Valley)
Alan Marshal (After The Thin Man)
Carolyn Craig (Giant)
Elisa Cook Jr. (Rosemary’s Baby)

House on Haunted Hill (1959) still

Eccentric millionaire Frederick Loren (Vincent Price) invites five people to a “party” he is throwing for his fourth wife, Annabelle (Carol Ohmart), in an allegedly haunted house he has rented, promising to give them each $10,000 with the stipulation that they must stay the entire night in the house after the doors are locked at midnight. The five guests are test pilot Lance Schroeder (Richard Long); newspaper columnist Ruth Bridges (Julie Mitchum); psychiatrist Dr. David Trent (Alan Marshal), who specializes in hysteria; Nora Manning (Carolyn Craig), who works for one of Loren’s companies; and the house’s owner Watson Pritchard (Elisha Cook). Pritchard disapproves of Loren’s use of the house for his “party,” making it unclear how Loren acquired access to the house in the first place.

Still from House on Haunted Hill (1959)

Arriving late at night in separate funeral cars with a hearse leading the procession, Loren’s guests are told the rules of the party, and each is given a .45 caliber pistol for protection. Forced to attend the party, Loren’s wife tries to warn the guests that her husband is psychotic, causing them to be very suspicious of him. Nora becomes convinced that he’s trying to kill her when she keeps seeing frightening ghosts, including the ghost of Annabelle, who had apparently hanged herself some time during the night.
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Almost as frightened as Nora is Watson Pritchard. He is convinced that the house is genuinely haunted by the ghosts of those killed there in the past, including his own brother, and that those ghosts have the power to “come for” (kill) anyone in the house. Schroeder is attacked in a basement room, but is convinced his attacker was real, and tries to calm Nora’s fears. It is eventually revealed that Annabelle, in league with her lover, Dr. Trent, faked her death in an attempt to frighten Nora so badly that she will be compelled to shoot Loren. After being driven into a fit of hysteria by the repeated frights she has experienced during the night, Nora, seeing Loren walking toward her in the basement with a gun in his hand, does indeed shoot Loren. After she flees the room, Dr. Trent slips in and tries to get rid of Loren’s body by pushing it into a vat of acid there (which had been used by a previous resident named Norton to kill his own wife), but the lights go out, and the sounds of a struggle and splash are heard followed by hissing and rapid bubbling.
Carol Ohmart stars as the beautiful but dangerous Annabel Loren
Hearing the gunshot, Annabelle rushes down to the basement to confirm that her husband is dead, but finds the room empty. Suddenly, a skeleton rises from the acid accompanied by Loren’s disembodied voice. As the animated specter approaches, Annabelle recoils and screams in horror, accidentally falling into the acid herself. The real Loren then emerges from the shadows, holding the contraption that he used to manipulate the skeleton which is now revealed to be Dr. Trent’s. Triumphant, he states that when Annabelle and Trent were starting their “little game of murder” and planning to kill him that he was “playing too.” He then tosses Trent’s skeleton in the vat to dissolve in the acid. Nora tells the other guests that she has shot Loren in the basement, but when they all arrive there they find him alive. He tells Nora that the gun she fired at him had been loaded with blanks, and explains to his guests that his wife and Dr. Trent had been trying to kill him and that they have each met their end in the vat of acid, adding solemnly that he is “ready for justice to decide” his guilt or innocence.

Watson Pritchard, still an avid believer in the supernatural, looks into the acid and declares that Annabelle and Dr. Trent have now joined the ranks of the house’s many ghosts. With a terrified expression on his face, he announces that the ghosts are now coming for him, then, he turns toward the audience and adds, “And then they’ll come for you.”

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Vincent Price is definitely the star here — creepy, intelligent, debonair, and he has an acid comment for every occasion (“Don’t stay up thinking of ways to get rid of me. It makes wrinkles”). Ohmart runs a close second with her seductive, devious trophy wife who openly admits that she wants to be a “lovely widow”. The assorted other actors do solid jobs as well, although Craig doesn’t do much except shriek periodically. House on Haunted Hill is a deserving vintage horror movie — a twisty plot, and Price at his finest. A must-see.