The haunted house has always been one of the elemental settings in horror – the materialization of externalized evil – and is enjoying considerable success today through the likes of The Conjuring
multiverse. When horror entered the ‘70s, ghosts became passé as audiences clamored for more visceral thrills that reflected the current societal concerns; despair marbled with a bit of hope became the name of the game, as films like The Exorcist
presented strong opinions regarding faith in the face of crises. Six months earlier however saw the release of The Legend of Hell House
(1973), a somewhat traditional yet exceptional spookshow with just enough ‘70s pessimism to fit in nicely with the decade’s mores.
Released by 20th Century Fox
in the U.S. mid June, Legend received mixed reviews from critics; some admired its somewhat restrained scares and performances, while others felt it didn’t lean enough into the lurid material