Arthur and his two children, Kathy and Bobby, inherit his Uncle Cyrus's estate: a glass house that serves as a prison to 12 ghosts. When the family, accompanied by Bobby's Nanny and an attorney, enter the house they find themselves trapped inside an evil machine "designed by the devil and powered by the dead" to open the Eye of Hell. Aided by Dennis, a ghost hunter, and his rival Kalina, a ghost rights activist out to set the ghosts free, the group must do what they can to get out of the house alive.Written by
The budget, opening weekend box office gross, and box office gross overall of this film are all virtually identical (within $1 million) to that of House on Haunted Hill (1999), which opened almost exactly two years earlier. Both films were adapted from stories written by Robb White and originally directed by William Castle. See more »
At breakfast Arthur has coffee spilled on him. When he opens the door to greet Benjamin Moss the shirt stain is much larger, but then gets small again as they cut to the inside of the apartment. See more »
Is that half the lawyer?
Here, take this.
[hands sizzling explosive to her]
Oooh, god, he definitely looked better.
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The opening Warner Brothers logo (US release) and Columbia Pictures logo (international release) are in black and white. See more »
The Region 1 DVD release includes extensive background information on each of the ghosts as a bonus feature, including footage not used in the final movie, and newly recorded narration by F. Murray Abraham. See more »
As I've said so many times before...people, this is just a movie. It is not intended to make deep social comment; it is not meant to reflect reality; the characters are not obligated to exercise good judgment; the fact that this movie is supposed to be "based on" the earlier version is not really relevant; and it ought to be possible to be entertained by a movie without necessarily feeling genuinely scared.
I find this to be a very entertaining movie. Good special effects, decent acting, lots of action, neat props and mechanicals, and some unique ghosts make this a lot of fun. Was I scared? No. I was startled sometimes, but not scared.
So what IS wrong with this movie? Well, I'm back to my usual gripe about action movies. There's a point in the film where one character says to three other characters, "Stay right here until I get back. Don't touch anything." Without going into detail, let me simply state the obvious: the other characters don't obey him and the results are not good. This is always a big turn-off to me, because the people who disobey almost always end up getting out safely, while other people die for their mistakes. In another film, for example, a family in the Federal witness protection program is told not to contact their old friends. The daughter, however, can't live without calling her boyfriend at least once. The bad guys intercept the phone call, show up at the "safe house," and end up killing several US Marshals. Of course, the daughter is oblivious to the damage she has caused and goes on to live happily ever after. Just once I'd like to see the survivors turn to the person who was reckless and say, "That was all your fault!" and blow the person away in a hail of lead.
Now, back to THIS film. I recommend it if you enjoy over-the-top horror/action films, but not if you are looking for some sort of psychological thriller or a moody mystery. If you liked "Dog Soldiers" and "An American Werewolf in London," then you should like this movie.
*** out of ****
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