House on Haunted Hill(remake) – 5.5

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Cast – William Malone

Cast – Geoffrey Rush, Famke Janssen, Taye Diggs, Peter Gallagher, Chris Kattan, Ali Larter, Bridgette Wilson, Max Perlich, Jeffrey Combes

Release Year – 1999

Reviewed by John of the Dead

This film follows the original “House on Haunted Hill” pretty straight forward as far as the general plot goes. An eccentric millionaire named Stephen Price(a shout out to original star Vincent Price) who offers 6 strangers $1,000,000 apiece to spend the night in a haunted house with a murderous past. The participants see this as a quick and easy way to make a lot of money, so they gladly take the offer. However, the participants must battle a murderer within the group, as well as a house that has no plans of ever letting them see their $1,000,000.

There were quite a few things that I really liked about this film. One big surprise was the amount of awesome gore used in this film, mainly because the original used very little gore, so seeing this contrast between the two films is great. I also really loved the sweet looking creatures that were thrown into this film. They added a nice touch to the film and kind of brought back the freakiness from the original film involving the “old blind lady” scene. We even are shows a few “Jacob’s Ladder” type scenes involving fast twitching people, with one scene involving horror icon Jeffrey Combs doing the “twitch“!

There were however quite a few things about this movie that really let me down. One was Chris Kattan’s annoying acting. He was playing the character of haunted house owner Watson Pritchett, who was the haunted house owner in the original House on Haunted Hill as well. Now this character is supposed to be quite paranoid due to his being in the house he hates so much(his brother was murdered there in the original film), but I just felt that he really overdid his part in this film. I’m sure it is most likely just the type of actor that he is, not necessarily a bad one, but he was ultimately just not right for this role. I also had a problem with Geoffrey Rush playing the eccentric millionaire in this film. In the original, Vincent Price held his role in a very respectable manner, although you knew he was up to something…he went about himself with dignity. However, Geoffrey Rush’s performance of the role was quite “dirty”, he made his character come off very sleazy, and not like a true “eccentric”, which is what his role called for.

Overall, if you are a fan of the original then you should check this out for comparison. This is not a bad film, just some of the acting done was a bit silly and I believe ruined the movie. Sweet gore and effects though!

Rating: 5.5/10

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