Hammer House of Horror
Episodes 1-13 box set

Starring: Peter Cushing, Pierce Brosnan, Diana Dors, Denholm Elliott, Brian Cox & Sian Phillips
Carlton Home Entertainment
RRP: £40.99

Certificate: 15
Available now

For over 20 years the Hammer was synonymous with horror. Five years after Hammer Studios had produced its last movie the brand was resurrected for television. This time, however, the scenarios were firmly set in the 20th Century as opposed to the studio's cinematic trend for lavish historical pieces...

I remember watching Hammer House of Horror as a young boy and more than a couple of the episodes appearing in this collection were responsible for a good many of my childhood nightmares. In fact two episodes - Visitor from the Grave and Rude Awakening - I could remember very vividly.

Issues tackled include cannibalism, voodoo, witchcraft and werewolves. There are a few stories, The House that Bled to Death and Visitor from the Grave which are not your typical horror stories which end with a very clever twist, which is then spoilt by a further twist.

The majority of episodes are haunting and cleverly written. Amongst the best are The Silent Scream, Rude Awakening, Children of the Full Moon and The Thirteenth Reunion.

This series include some impressive acting talents including Peter Cushing, Diana Dors, Denholm Elliott, Sian Phillips and a 'blink and you'll miss him' appearance from Pierce Brosnan.

The episodes show their age only in the fashion and house decor's. Other than that the episodes are as fresh today as they were when they were first broadcast over 20-years ago.

The only extras are picture galleries and biographies for the main cast, but when you have a series as consistently good as this then it is a little hard to find fault.

A fantastic box set which should be owned by all horror enthusiasts.

Nick Smithson

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