It started when five people agreed to spend one night in a haunted house . . . What began as an evening of fun a harmless scares in exchange for one million dollars to anyone who stayed the... See full summary »
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When an eccentric millionaire offer a group of opposites $1,000,000 to spend the night in a so called "Haunted House" with a murderous past, they figure it is a quick way to get quick money and leave. All of them are sure it is some made up story just to mess with their heads a little and test their courage. But, once they stay in the house they start to think about the mistake they made in coming there when mysterious things start to happen. Written by
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(at around 50 mins) When Taye Diggs and Ali Larter walk into the Zoetrope room, the mic is visible at the top right of the screen, peeking out from behind the zoetrope tank. Diggs' flashlight shines right on it at one point. See more »
Despite a weak ending this is a surprisingly creepy Hollywood horror
Rich but eccentric millionaire Steven Price is looking for the ultimate scares. He invites a group of people to spend the night in the former Vannacutt Psychiatric Institute for the Criminally Insane where the inmates revolved in a orgy of violence against the cruel regime of Dr Vannacutt. The one who does spend the night will get $1million dollars. However it soon becomes evident that not all the scares are set up by Price himself.
This remake of the old 1958 movie sees the plot expanded and made a lot more creepy and enjoyable. In fact the end point of the original is only the halfway mark of this one. The plot may not be imaginative but the delivery is very good for this type of film. I'm not a big fan of horror or this type of Hollywood slasher movie as I find them too obvious and not scary. However here the gore is well used and the general creepy mood wins the film. The movement of the deceased Dr Vannacutt is very creepy and is much better than some of the gore.
Sadly the final 20 minutes feels it needs to reveal a bigger evil and the secrets of the house are brought to life in boom of CGI beasties. At this point it reverts to form and because just another Hollywood creature feature and it is a bit of a let down. However up to this point it works very well and it's real creepy.
The cast are all pretty good and do `camp' when necessary but don't take away from the terror that's coming later. Rush plays nicely to the camp in his homage to Price's role in the original. Jensen, Diggs, Gallagher and Kattan all do well and the cast do better than the scream queens that usual inhabit these films.
Overall the film starts like any other Hollywood horror but the clever direction, creepy music and imaginative visuals of Dr Vannacutt all create a creepy feel to the film that is better than the gore that also comes. The final section slides back into standard fare with the old CGI evil coming to get us but up till then it's surprisingly good stuff.
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