House on Haunted Hill
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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.
House on Haunted Hill is one of the new breed of waste-no-time thrill machines, like Deep Blue Sea, and a particularly effective example at that. The plot is pure contrivance: For a party stunt, a wealthy amusement-park manufacturer (Geoffrey Rush) offers five people a million dollars if they spend the night in a former insane asylum where the patients murdered the sadistic staff. But it turns out the five people who arrive aren't the five he invited--did his wife (Famke Janssen), who hates him, make the switch? From there events unfold with a smart combination of human and supernatural machinations; spooky jolts are dispensed at regular, but not entirely predictable, intervals. The visual effects owe a considerable debt to Jacob's Ladder, a much more ambitious movie; House on Haunted Hill just wants to get under your skin, and succeeds more than you'd expect. Rush is his entertainingly hammy self; Janssen, Taye Diggs, Ali Larter, and Bridgette Wilson are attractive and reasonably straight-faced about it all; and Chris Kattan is genuinely funny as the house's neurotic owner. Some elements of the plot seem to have been lost in the editing process, but it hardly matters. More bothersome is that the scares go flat when computer effects take over at the end--the digital images just aren't as creepy as the more suggestive stuff that came before. But that's just the very end; most of the movie has a lot of momentum. Watch until the end of the credits for a final bit of eeriness. --Bret Fetzer
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Top Customer Reviews
great dialogue.plus there are more than a few twists and turns to keep
you guessing.the tension is high throughout and there's plenty of gore
for all you gore hounds.there is some nudity and some strong
language,but i think it was appropriate for the movie.for me,it added
some realism and authenticity.there are some good actors in this
one,all putting in good performances.i thought the CGI was good
enough.but honestly,i was more focused on the story,which i thought was
really good.the whole movie has a haunting air pretty much from the get
go,and i thought the opening credits were superb in setting the
mood.plus i liked the ironic ending.overall,i thought this was a fun
movie.i couldn't find anything wrong with it.for me,House on Haunted
Hill is a 5/5
"House on Haunted Hill" is a remake of the Vincent Price 1959's thriller. Both share a similiar story but they couldn't be further apart in regards to content, characters and overall tone. I will frankly admit that although the 90's remake is far from perfect, it still manages to entertain as long as it's not taken seriously. There there are several scenes that are genuinely chilling and the film is violent. The gore alone is reason enough to recommend it, especially to those who have been complaining about the tame, un-scary "PG/PG-13" rated fright films released during the last decade and a half. The film also offers some really unsympathic characters, the kind you want to see get butchered and cut-up by the lurking, homicidal poltergeists. The incredibly over-the-top performances also raises this film's entertainment value. The fine cast, most notably Geoffrey Rush, Chris Kattan and Famke Janssen, make the most of their shallow, annoying, obnoxious characters.
This feature was released the same year as "The Haunting".Read more ›
In this case, it's a remake of "House on Haunted Hill," a classic Vincent Price thriller where you can't tell where the humans leave off and the ghosts begin. But the remake has not a shadow of the nasty charm, and so it merely trots out the gore and bad CGI to fill up the time.
An oddball millionaire (Geoffrey Rush) invites several people to an old lunatic asylum, which is said to be haunted -- if they make it through the night, they will each receive a million dollars. They think it's an easy way to make fast cash, and that the gruesome stories of torture and death are just to mess with their heads.
But, of course, ghoulies and ghosties and things that go bump in the night begin to surface, and the guests start to suspect that they may not survive until morning. Especially since the millionaire and his cunning wife (Famke Janssen) may have murder on their minds. Will anyone escape the house alive?
When the original movie starred Vincent Price, it's pretty hard to compete. So "House on Haunted Hill" simply doesn't try. In fact, it goes in the opposite direction -- it becomes so amazingly bad and cliched that it's actually kind of fun to watch, in a morbid way. It's so over-the-top that it becomes a parody of itself.
The problem is that "House on Haunted Hill" tries SO, SO hard to scare viewers, they overshoot the mark by miles. The writers and director trot out every loathsome visual and horrific bit of history, and jam it up in the viewers' faces. Buckets of gore, deformed faces, atrociously phony CGI, and lots of bad scripting.
Most of the cast is utterly forgettable.Read more ›
The DVD is packed with great extras: 6 minidocumentaries, 3 deleted scenes (the second one, "Zombies" explains a continuity error - the missing jacket), commentary by the director, theatrical trailers for both versions of the film, scenes from the film "Creature", and a documentary on the two versions of the film.
Pop the disc in a DVD-ROM drive and you have access to two essays. The first is "Oh, The Horror! A History of Horror" with the following sections: Germanic Origins; The Universal Horror Factory; Bloody Rivals; A Symphony of Horrors; Ghosts, Ghouls and Gimmicks; Hammer's House of Horrors; Satan's Minions; The Shark That Ate the Box Office; "Psycho" and the Slashers; New Heights of Blood and Gore; Big-Budget Bloodbaths; Of Witches and Ghosts.
The second essay is "Take Two! (Or Three!) A Retrospective of Horror Remakes" with the following sections: "I Am...Dracula"; "It's Alive! It's Alive!"; "He's Here!"; "The Eighth Wonder of the World!"; "Watch the Skies!"; "You're Next! You're Next!"; "A Force...Beyond the Scope of Man's Imagination"; "Help Me! Help Me!"; "Mother, She Isn't Quite Herself Today"; "Welcome to Hill House".
The Website for the film is also included on the disc.
A Windows game is included title "Escape From the House."
While the game only works in Windows, the essays are accessible from a Macintosh using a web browser.
MPEG versions of trailers for "Arsenic and Old Lace", "Beetlejuice", "Poltergeist", "The Shining" (1980), and the two "Haunted Hill" films are on the disc as well.
Most recent customer reviews
This is a region free blu-ray. Plays with no issues on my PS4 in Toronto Canada. Had this shipped to me as it is not available on blu-ray in north america.Published 6 months ago by JaCk_CaCk
Great movie, creepy and scary. I recommend it to any horror fan. Great idea with a good touch on a horror movie idea.Published on Jan. 12 2013 by Michael Walker
House on Haunted Hill, a remake of a 1950's Vincent Price film, is one of the best horror films to come out of the 1990's. Read morePublished on June 3 2004 by Bobby Dillard
A Cold Hearted Wife (Famke Janssen) of a Twisted Theme Park Bigshot Steven Price (Oscar-Winner:Geoffrey Rush) decide to thown a Party at an abandoned Institute for the Criminally... Read morePublished on May 20 2004 by Christian Pelchat