Review: The House that Dripped Blood (1970)

Words: Katie Doherty

The House that Dripped Blood (written by Robert Bloch ) is a great bit of rainy afternoon viewing about a house that has quite the effect on its residents. Firstly I must point out that the house doesn’t drip blood at any point and we don’t actually obtain an explanation as to why the house is making its residents lives a living hell. Despite this I really think the film, with its four mini stories, is a really good watch.

First of all I want to mention how great the house is. It is a rental property that sits behind a large iron gate amongst the wooded English countryside. Its interior is just as charming with books lining the walls, gothic figures decorate the rooms, its dark wallpaper and wood with stained glassed windows give it quite the creepy feel. It is like something out of a Hammer Horror production.

The film includes four stories, all of which involve residents of the home. Different people same house…

In the first story a writer encounters a strangler of his own creation. This a great story as a horror writer has moved away from the city to concentrate on his new novel but his character becomes much more than just a piece in the plot of his book.

The second features one of my favourites, Peter Cushing, who moves into the house only to be haunted by the face of a woman from his past within the local horror museum in the town – a rather creepy story indeed.

The third is a wonderful story of witchcraft featuring Christopher Lee. A rather creepy child and her dolls – I won’t say too much, this is a story you will want to watch for yourself.

And finally a film actor (John Pertwee) finds a cloak that he wants to use for his part in a film when he discovers that the cloak actually gives him real vampiric powers, he features alongside the beautiful Ingrid Pitt who makes the perfect vampire. But, on a final note I have to say that I didn’t like this story – Pertwee’s acting is a little silly and doesn’t really fit in with the rest of the film.

I had not seen this film before and I must say I am well-rehearsed in horror films. It came onto the Horror Channel one afternoon and I just had to watch it.

For me The House that Dripped Blood contains all the elements of a good film. Excellent plot, great acting, subtlety and atmosphere – why not take a look for yourself – I dare you!