This somewhat solemn and humourless departure into the splintered realm of the paranormal has stood the test of time exceptionally well. In recent years a lot of haunted house films have been all noise and no intelligence. Just because technology in sound design has reached an apex, that doesn’t mean one should feel duty bound to bombard the audience with an aural discharge that borders on an assault. When modern sound design goes hand in hand with CGI the results are cinematic artificiality on a par with 3D. The Legend of Hell House is a comforting return to an age when creativity was genuinely required in the sound department and where a real set could conjure an atmosphere unlike anything we see today. The blueprint is obviously Robert Wise’s film adaptation of The Haunting (1963). A film that rightfully holds a very prominent place in any discussion of ghostly goings on (or not goings on as the case may be) and although Hell House doesn’t quite reach the brilliance of that earlier film it still achieves a respectability within the form. Richard Matheson’s source material places a greater emphasis on deviant sexuality and past perversion, and plays up in a more aggressive manner the age old dichotomy between rational scientific thought and the irrationality of the psychic world. Matheson’s screenplay tones the novel down, but not to an extent that damages the film.