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
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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).
Six strangers are invited to a 'haunted house' party at a former asylum - the scene of a massacre many years earlier, when inmates rebelled against the psychotic chief surgeon (Jeffrey Combs) - and the guests are assailed by restless spirits with a murderous agenda...
This remake of William Castle's 1959 shocker was the first title in a projected series by Dark Castle Entertainment, a genre outfit established by the creative personnel behind HBO's "Tales from the Crypt" (Robert Zemeckis, Joel Silver and Gilbert Adler) as a platform for the 'revision' of Castle's entire oeuvre. Working from Robb White's original story, screenwriter Dick Beebe and director William Malone - previously responsible for such unassuming B-movies as SCARED TO DEATH (1980) and CREATURE (1985) - remain faithful to Castle's original whilst goosing the material with newfangled effects technology and levels of gore which Castle had been denied during his lifetime. Production designer David F. Klassen has also updated the eponymous house, a clifftop monstrosity whose plunging Art deco exterior masks the Gothic ruin within, haunted by monstrous spirits who 'come alive' and terrorize a cast of defiantly modern characters, including Geoffrey Rush as a cynical fairground entrepeneur (clearly modelled after Vincent Price), and Famke Janssen as his beautiful, bitchy, duplicitous wife.
The film's uneven tone (veering between horror and humor and back again) is likely to divide viewers from the outset, but the horror scenes are played with remarkable gravity, and attentive viewers will spot visual references to the likes of GHOST STORY (1981) and JACOB'S LADDER (1990), particularly a 'guest appearance' by one of the most hair-raising phantoms from that former title. Some of the original film's charm has been lost along the way, replaced by profanity and splatter (though not as much as some outraged critics would have you believe), and there's nothing in the remake which compares to the blood-freezing shock induced by Carol Ohmart's encounter with a blind, white-haired ghost in Castle's version, but Malone's update deserves a mark for trying. Also starring Bridgette Wilson, Peter Gallagher, Ali Larter and the ultra-beautiful Taye Diggs, alongside comedian Chris Kattan, here playing it impressively straight in a role originally essayed by Elisha Cook Jr.
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