10 Movies That Tried To Change Cinema Forever (And Failed)

10. House On Haunted Hill Featured Live Performance Elements

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If cinema has any one clear "limitation," it's surely the barrier between the flat screen and the audience.

The audience knows they're looking at a lifeless, pre-recorded image, and so the cinema is effectively a safe, hermetically sealed space in which to watch a story unfold.

But there have been periodic attempts to add live performance elements to theatrical movie screenings, as most famously occurred for the release of the Vincent Price-starring 1959 horror classic House on Haunted Hill.

For a sequence late in the movie where a skeleton rises from a vat of acid, director William Castle encouraged cinema managers to rig up a skeleton in the screen where the film was being shown, and then "levitate" it around the screen on a series of pulleys in a gimmick Castle dubbed "Emergo."

The gimmick helped propel the film to stonking box office success, even if Emergo was ultimately a one-off, likely due to the cost of requiring an actual pair of hands to operate and maintain the rigging for every screening.

It has, however, been recreated in more recent retrospective screenings of House on Haunted Hill with amusing results.

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