This will be my last Halloween Favorite Fictional Character post for they year, and I think it would be a sacrilege to not have a Vincent Price character at some point. The problem is he had so many awesome roles that deserve the attention. Last year I posted about Dr. Phibes, a character he played in two movies. This year I wanted to go with a more human, relatively speaking, villain. One of my all time favorite movies is the 1959 version of The House on Haunted Hill. Vincent Price plays the main villain of the piece, Frederick Loren.
Frederick Loren is an eccentric businessman, with a mean streak a mile wide. He probably killed his first 3 wives and it looks like he's on his way of getting rid of his fourth. He has rented a old haunted house, with a very violent past, to throw her a birthday party, but he didn't invite any of her friends. Instead he invited 5 complete strangers and offered them $10,000 to spend the night. The only hitch is that the electricity will be turned off and all the doors and windows will be locked after midnight. Anyone who is still alive will get the money. Of course, the demented man had a reason for inviting each of the people he did. He plays a sick game in the movie, one that he makes sure to win.
What I loved about the character is the sheer genius of the man. For those of you who have not seen the movie, I don't want to ruin it for you, but I have to tell one key point of the plot in order to gush about the character. He is able to take a situation, where he was the intended target and turn it around. Instead of being the victim (which he deserved to be) he got the people who were trying to get him. And he did it in such a way, that they had no clue. The were in the middle of celebrating when the tables get turned, loved it.
There are times when I want the bad guy to win, this movie is one of those cases. Though I must say, there is more than one evil person involved. I think Vincent Price, as usual, brought such a quiet menace to the role that as a viewer I loved to hate him. I relished every minute he was on screen. If you haven't seen this movie and his performance as Frederick Loren I would highly encourage you to do so. Skip the remake.