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I was hoping that 'House on Haunted Hill' was going to be better than 'The
Haunting', but this is even worse. It's supposed to be a big ride into
horror, but it's not. The director tries to create some 'disturbing' images,
but the timing is always wrong and the way things are shot stresses out his
lack of craftsmanship. It might scare some kids, but it's not for the horror
fans. The characters' background is not developed at all, so it's not even
interesting to watch the movie for the sake of the story. At least 'The
Haunting' had some well developed characters, which made it
Well, I believe that if 'House on Haunted Hill' or even 'The Haunting' were filmed in the 80's, they would have been a lot more successful in their goal (which is to scare the audience). Maybe it's the digital age that it's not suitable for horror movies yet (was 'The Mummy' scary at all?), but maybe it's just the lack of talent of some directors.
You want to see something scary and disturbing? Watch 'Hellraiser'!
I've seen dozens of horror films over the years ranging from the silents through the fifties and some phenomenal examples later on. This is a film that doesn't so much rely on suspense or build-up as it does just throwing in one "scary" thing after another. The sound track never stops and the entire experience is fatiguing. It feels like hearing someone say "boo" time and again for just over an hour and that wears quite thin. There isn't much plot - or need for one - and the actors go through their motions with a gory script that doesn't really go anywhere but does manage a fairly good rehash of William Castle's original (which seems pristine and underplayed next to this). Why was it made would be first question...
Gathered together for a birthday party, the guests and hosts of a
lavish celebration in a haunted asylum find the events part of the
house' intent to kill them off and must find a way to get out alive.
This one was quite an enjoyable and vastly improved remake. This gets a lot right with the atmosphere and setting on display, which is pretty chilling throughout the film here as this comes from how well this one utilizes the house it its advantage. The long, endless darkened hallways, cramped treatment rooms and overall atmosphere of the disuse throughout with cobwebs and disrepair found here make for some really creepy elements along the way which set up the ghost action nicely. This one gets the better of creepy events happening in a creepy location, as early scenes of them following the ghostly doppelganger all throughout the different rooms, a fantastic encounter in the operating room where they're only visible on a video camera and the later scene of the group encountering the hidden experiment rooms where the ghosts' manage to trap them in their patient treatments which result in some bloody kills and tense scenes. Likewise, the finale also manages to interject quite a bit of fun here by showcasing the thrilling chases around the basement, the formation of the mass of spectral blob that holds the ghosts of the dead as well as the fun of the big chase around the house as the relentless race to get up the house before it swallows the remaining survivors is a fun, incredibly action-packed finale here. Along with the great gore and creepy back-story, these here are enough for this one to hold off the few flaws here. The biggest issue here is the fact that this one really overdoes the bickering couple angle to the point of overkill, not only making it questionable about why they're together but the fact that they continue to feel that way deep into the film it grows tiresome, as well as prevents this from really buying into what's going on. It would've been a lot more credible had they stopped going at each other and bought into the truth. Finally, this one really strains credibility with how it gets the group to the house which makes no sense at all about how a supernatural entity would be able to conduct business in that manner when it's overt display of powers in doing that mean it could've just killed them off without ever needing them o come into the house in the first place. However, these are mostly minor points that don't hold this one down all that much.
Rated R: Graphic Violence, Graphic Language and Brief Nudity.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Good cast in this, Geoffrey Rush is probably best utilized and Famke
Janssen never looked better. I really like Chris Kattan, but I have
mixed feelings on his character in this. He oddly goes from being the
concerned prophet of doom to the character most blase about the
situation very quickly, but he still has his moments.
The movie really does embrace and modernize the William Castle "thrills and chills" style from the very beginning, starting with a horror sequence at a mental asylum that immediately moves into a fun roller-coaster sequence with a bit of light suspense. Once we get to the "house" of the title, the surprises begin. Some of these twists can be pretty contrived, but that's OK - it's all in silly fun.
Comparing this to the other haunted house remake of 1999, The Haunting, this definitely has a more consistent tone and better characters, and though both movies have CGI creatures that arrive in the third act, House On Haunted Hill's monster is a little creepier and nowhere nearly as ridiculous.
Fun remake of the 50's Vincent Price classic, "the House on Haunted
Hill." Worth the price of admission for the chemistry alone between
Geoffery Rush & the ever beautiful Famke Janssen, as husband & wife who
don't exactly make holy matrimony, to say the least, as both think one
is trying to kill the other. Funny dialog with a witty twist expound
from both, as the guests look anxiously on, befuddled at the whole
The guests make for good victim fodder, as their one dimensional characters. You'll have fun picking & rooting for the ones you hope get killed next, & that's exactly what their in this film for, to be murdered, one by one.
Good pacing & special effects make this one a fun amusement ride, though the roller-coaster falls off track in the end, otherwise I would've rated this a half star higher. Still, this film does not take it's self seriously, & if you don't, this makes for a very good Halloween time watch!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
when i first watched house on haunted hill i was scared outta my pants.
even tho it was quite predictable it still has a few surprises around
the corner. without a dough house on haunted hill is one of the
scariest films of the slasher films.
the plot is well thought of but abit confusing............ Stephen H. Price ( Geoffrey Rush) is a millionaire married to Evelyn Stockard-Price (Famke Janssen ). Evelyn decides her next birhtday is to take place in a house which is believed to be called house on haunted hill. mainly because of the terrifying past events that has happened there, murdering doctors getting murdered if that makes any sense.
so he invites a couple of strangers to come and join the horror party including Eddie Baker (Taye Diggs) Sara Wolfe ( Ali Larter ) Blackburn ( Peter Galagher ) and last but by no means least Melissa Margaret Marr (Bridgette Wilson-Sampras)
Stephan offers the strangers 1,0000 dollars to stay for the night, but they don't know that they will be stalked and in some cases murders by the ghosts of house on haunted hill. Watson Pritchett ( Chris Kattan ) who owns the house knows the house is haunted by the doctors who met deaths door there but decides to keep it a secret till its to late- the house turns to look down barricading all the doors windows which means no one leaves the house alive.
i must say i was surprised that the action did start of very early on in the film. but i was even more surprised when very early on in the film it had a cliff hanger waiting to know if Malissa survived when the rest of the crew here her loud, frightening screams form half way across the house. that was a really good idea very early on in the movie.
but after that house on haunted hill starts to slowly but surely go downhill. with every one splitting up knowing the house is after them dumb idea. but the biggest twist of all is when Evelyn kills Blackburn because she turns out to be a psycho. then when she meets her death i was wondering whats the point of watching this movie now?.
the massive let down is the film is the big black ghost thing which is full of CGI which i had to laugh at that.
but i also knew from the beginning who the survivors were going to be. BIG SPOILER Sara and Eddie were the surviours from the beginning.
overall house on haunted hill delivers a lot of scares, jokes but fails to keep that feeling throughout the whole movie. i would however recommend this to a horror fan. 6star
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This remake has one extraordinary thing going for it: the original is so, SO bad, and barely even in a kitschy entertaining way, that there's no standard at all to live up to. That said, this is nothing but an enjoyable, if not grand, time-filler. The plot is of course ridiculous. What saves this film is the bizarre and actually wonderful energy Geoffrey Rush infuses into his role. Rather than adopt a Vincent Price drollery, he goes all out in a gleeful, active performance, and this film needs it. Then, as the hatred between husband and wife has been suitably amped up for modern times, Famke Jannsen delivers beauty and menace quite nicely as Mrs. Price. PS Strange thing - the cameraman in the brief, early theme park scene looked so familiar, so I came here to track him down. James Marsden (sp?). of the 'Angel' series and more. Doing a one-line bit? Was this deliberate?
It's been 10 years since this remake of a 1959 Vincent Price spooktacular hit theaters. An all-star cast and a much larger budget than the original tells the story of a group of folks invited for profit to spend the night in a haunted mansion that once was a nut house. They are soon being knocked off in various clever and grisly ways. Getting out is not an option. Chris Kattan stars along with Peter Gallagher, Famke Jansen and Geoffrey Rush in this comedy horror gem. The special effects are first-rate, and the acting is just arch enough for us to enjoy the intermittently bloody proceedings. For Ali Larter fans, she probably gets it the worst. This is not SAW-level violence, but it will do.
Before watching William Malone's "House On Haunted Hill" of 1999 I was
quite skeptical, as William Castle's original of 1959 starring the
great Vincent Price is a brilliant spooky classic, and 90s remakes of
Horror classics (such as the dreadful "Haunting" remake)usually tend to
suck. The "House On Haunted Hill" remake, however, is fortunately a
homage to the original more than just a remake, and even though it
comes nowhere near the brilliance of the brilliance and eeriness of the
original, it is an entertaining and quite creepy little Horror fan that
genre-fans should enjoy. Especially Geoffrey Rush's performance is a
pure tribute to the great Vincent Price. Rush's character is even named
Stephen Price in the honor of this great horror icon. Vincent Price is
one of my favorite actors of all-time, and Rush, who is also a great
actor, does a great job making his performance a tribute to Price.
Six strangers are offered a million dollars each, by the eccentric millionaire Stephen H. Price (Rush). In order to get the money, they have to attain a party thrown by Price and his equally sinister wife (Famke Jansen). This party is to take place in an eerie huge mansion, a former mental institution with a murderous past, that is supposed to be haunted...
What makes this film interesting are the performances of Geoffrey Rush, who, as mentioned above, pays adequate tribute to the great Vincent Price, and sexy Famke Jansen, who is equally great and sinister as his femme-fatale wife. The creepiest moments in the film, however, are provided by Horror icon Jeffrey Combs, who is genuinely scary in his small role. The rest of the performances are solid, but not spectacular. The film also makes a good effort to build up a gloomy atmosphere, and the well-made gore effects are an additional quality. I would definitely recommend to watch the (incomparably greater) 1959 original first, but this 1999 remake is also a highly entertaining film that outshines the majority of (mostly awful) Horror remakes of the 90s. Enjoy!
When I first saw this I wasn't much of a fan, and that wasn't due to comparing it to the original, as I hadn't seen Castle's 1958 version. Again while it isn't boring, due mainly to Geoffrey Rush's effectively diverting Vincent Price send up, and a saucy Famke Janssen. What we get is something of pretty sub-standard quality that heavily relies on glossy special effects, nasty blood spatter and contrived shocks of the tiresome kind. Dick Beebe's screenplay of Robb White's original story ups the twists, and unpleasant nature in a straight laced supernatural story. Even with its constant twists, it felt like they were there to cover how slight the premise was. The angle is more so serious and dark, though at times with a somewhat mock attitude compared with the plain outlandish, and overly campy style of the original. Which did make that one far more enjoyable, even with the usual haunted house devices. Here director William Malone goes about things in a conventionally slick, ultra-kinetic manner where it was just too streamlined (this being the art direction of the sombre looking house) and packed with many unconvincingly elaborated twists, and heavy handed jump scares that lacked any sort of unsettling punch. The basic "let's go for something that sounds really scary" music score, couldn't escape its generic notes of telegraphed predictability. At least the deaths are fairly twisted, and the morbid flair of Rush and Janssen's interplay is an unpredictable delight. The special effects weren't terrible and there a few well pulled off moments (like the jittery ghost doctors), but overall it didn't enhance or cook up much of a lasting atmosphere when they finally pile it on far too much. The final 15 minutes is a fine example. Ali Carter aggregately fluffs around, and Taye Riggs pretty much has that concerned face throughout. Peter Gallagher, Bridgette Wilson and Max Perlich make up the numbers. Jeffery Combs also appears in a spooky cameo part, that called out for more screen time.
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