Thursday, October 18, 2012

House on Haunted Hill (1999)

House on Haunted Hill (USA, 1999) - Color, Director(s): William Malone
MPAA Rating: R
[UK: 18]
Approx. 93 min.

Z-rating: 4 out of 5 stars for an enjoyable haunted house/ghost story

Cheese Factor: 3 out of 5 stars for the bad CGI at the end that made the whole movie feel cheap

An eccentric millionaire theme park owner, that makes his money off thrills and chills, is celebrating his wife's birthday with an unusual contest being held in an haunted insane asylum. Each of the guests are offered $1,000,000 to "survive" a night in this haunted house. Originally a night of creeps engineered by Stephen Price (the eccentric millionaire, played by Geoffrey Rush, but kinda looks like James Woods in this movie) eventually gets out of control when the evil trapped inside the house starts to take over.

I thought it was a really fun haunted house story remade with fresh young faces that gives the whole thing that "made by MTV" feel. Even though it's Dark Castle Entertainment that brings us this fun little remake of a 1959 horror movie starring Vincent Price and this is what I think of every time I'm asked about haunted house flicks. I love the feeling that anything can happen in these places because you've entered their dimension in a sense. The story was a sweet little mystery wrapped in a haunted house setting. There's Famke Janssen, Bridgette Wilson, and Ali Larter in this movie, so I kept thinking that Jean Grey, Sonia Blade, and the chick from Final Destination were on the same team and they were going to kick ass!!

Do you see them?!

Nudity: I think there are flashes of boobs sometimes but not really anything memorable. I think that was a bit of a let down in this kind of movie. Interesting fact though, the "darkness" that they CGI at the end of the movie that turns people off this movie is actually a bunch of images of naked women all grayed out and pasted one over the other. If you pause at the right time, you can make out some of the naked women. (see pic above)

Gore: Plenty. There's a ton of blood and guts in this movie, including a man who gets decapitated and his body is propped up behind a door. There are entire tubs filled with blood, people turning around and getting separated from each other, and flashes of the evil stuff they did to patients back when they were still an insane asylum.

Awesome: Pretty awesome. I wouldn't say this deserves any particular awards but it was definitely more entertaining that some people will make it out to be. If you like haunted house stories, this movie is lots and lots of fun.