Eight years after the millionaire Mr. Price rented Hill house for a macabre birthday party, a team of researchers dares to come in, looking for a precious statue, a satanic idol who is believed to possess demonic powers.
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
Geoffrey Rush was never meant to look like Vincent Price (star of the original film House on Haunted Hill (1959)). The original screenplay described Stephen Price as a regular looking businessman. Rush didn't care for this, so he suggested that his character look like the film director John Waters. The director agreed to test this look out. After his transformation, he ended up looking so much like Vincent Price the director decided to keep the look. See more »
(at around 46 mins) When Melissa goes to the basement with her camera and her camera starts to show the ghosts performing an operation, it is an obvious recording as the camera begins to pan on the video before the actress moves the camera. See more »
The Warner Bros. logo is grey in color and is surrounded by thunder and lightning. See more »
Due to numerous circumstances (i.e. running time constraints and what not) a great deal of footage was excised from this motion picture. Three of the most important scenes were returned for the DVD release. They are:
a scene between the real Jennifer Jenzen (Debi Mazar) a haughty, foul mouthed,arrogant movie producer and her assistant Sara (Ali Larter) on the set of B-MOVIE. Jennifer curses Sara out, and fires her on the spot. Sara however, intercepts Jennifer's mail, finding the invite for the party on Haunted Hill. In the DVD version they show to different takes of this scene (one set in the courtyard of an apartment complex and the other in a big open field).
a scene towards the climax when Eddie Baker (Taye Diggs) and Sara are running from the shadow demon exploding the floorboards, they are led into a dead end. Eddie jumps onto a hanging light fixture, holding onto Sara as the floor beneath them explodes. He loses his grip on Sara and she falls through the hole into a subterranean cavern beneath the house where the remains of Doctor Vannicut's victims lie. The shadow creeps into the cavern and reanimates the dead bodies causing this huge zombie attack. Eddie drops down and saves Sara and the chase continues from where it left off in the finished cut of the film (however, if you notice, in the finished cut of the film during the chase scene there is a continuity error when Sara's running. In one shot she's wearing her jacket and in the other it's mysteriously vanished, it's vanished because during the cut portion of this climactic chase, Sara loses her jacket when she falls into the cavern. Her jacket is then used by Eddie to pull her up and out to safety).
an epilogue was also cut from the film involving the real Jennifer Jenzen (Debbie Mazar) inheriting the house on haunted hill. When she goes to check it out with real estate agent Dick (played by Jeffrey Combs (who is also Dr. Vannicut!) we see her enter the house and then a horrifying scream follows. The scene was cut because director William Malone felt the scene was a bit too humorous for the film and that it did not fit what was filmed at all).
Asylums. Crazy people. Insanity. Mental therapy, mental hospitals, mental patients have been used time and time again in horror fiction and horror films. Why? I'm not sure; maybe, it is the normality of being like those that are insane which brings a more genuine horror to us. Whatever it is, House on Haunted Hill certainly uses all the mental derangement cliches to full effect. I could easily pan this film by saying(and rightly so) that its predecessor, the original House on Haunted Hill directed by William Castle, is a far superior film. That Castle's film was filled with better acting, better timing, and easily a better script. But I liked this film, which is not really a remake entirely. It has many elements that are not in the first film; most of them centering around the mental aspect aforementioned. The house in this film was once an asylum where people...thousands perhaps..were brutally butchered in the name of mental good health. The house is scary. Empty corridors, large, vast rooms, incredible special effects all add to the frightening aspects of the film. The biggest problem with the film is that much of it just doesn't add up in terms of making sense of the plot. The film fortunately is more special effects driven than plot driven, and at least is able to deliver the goods in that arena. The acting is pretty good with all the leads really doing quite a good job. Geoffrey Rush gives his best Vincent Price impression(pencil-thin mustache and all) delivering lines with bravura gusto. The other exceptional standout is Chris Kattan as Watson Pritchard. Kattan is just wonderful in the role showcasing his obvious talent. As far as great horror films go...this film is adequate, yet very thrilling, exciting, and entertaining. If you are like me and love the old one...just look at this film as a totally different entity. It is. One thing is for sure...it is one heck of a rollercoaster ride!
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