by Nate Ashley, October 31, 2011 12:11 PM
I've been a fan of the movie adaptation to Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House (The Haunting, 1963) for years. Richard Matheson's Hell House is an updated telling of that story, which also made it to film as The Legend of Hell House (1973). When I finally got around to reading both novels, I was surprised to find that Matheson's Hell House proved to be a much more erotic, disturbing, and creepier effort in the haunted house genre. With Jackson's foundation, Matheson improves the pacing and fleshes out the back story with a more frightening and twisted past that lives on in the mansion. This is a great example of the the-book-was-better-than-the-movie scenario.