A vampire movie that for once breaks fresh earth. Naturally, no-one will believe Charley (William Ragsdale) when he tells them that a Count Dracula type (Chris Sarandon) has moved into the spooky mansion next door and is seducing and murdering nubile maidens there. Well, would 'you'?
The miracle - and certainly the making of the film - is that the host (Roddy McDowall) of a late, late TV horror show 'does' come along to Hell House, lured by a 500-dollar bait proffered by Charley's girlfriend, who happens to look like the vampire's long-lost love.
McDowall wanders around in a state of total disbelief until he happens to notice Sarandon casts no reflection in a glass. From that moment, a confrontation is inevitable, and it's an exciting one at that, with effects from the team who enlivened 'Ghostbusters'.
Sarandon - yes, Susan's ex-husband - is every inch the smoothly savage vampire, but the film's masterstroke is the casting of McDowall as the quivering questor. He provides the human element that adds the blood and guts to the acid bite of the special effects.