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House on Haunted Hill

movie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: House on Haunted Hill

Starring: Geoffrey Rush, Famke Janseen
Director: William Malone
Rated: R
RunTime: 96 Minutes
Release Date: October 1999
Genres: Comedy, Horror, Mystery, Thriller

Review by ZT
3 stars out of 4

I was not expecting much from this film because it left theaters fast. I had also already seen the pathetic haunted house movie "The Haunting" which was terrible. While viewing the film though, I found myself really creeped out. In a nutshell, the films about a group of people invited to a party at a old insane asylum by a rich theme park tycoon. The party is for his wife who hates him as much as he hates her. Their goal is to spend the entire night there and if they succeed, they are awarded 1,000,000 dollars each. This film really surprised me with how scary some of it was. One scene that comes to mind involves one of the party guests catching some ghosts on camera. While she watches them perform surgery on someone, they look up and stare at her, which doesn't sound too scary, but it sent chills up my spine. She then turns around and sees a figure in the shadows. What follows next lasts about three seconds, but was enough to freak the hell out of me. When the rest of the people find the camera and view it, sighns of torture and mutilation are uncovered. Let me make a note that I was alone and in complete darkness while watching this movie. I'm not sure why, but all this added up to me being severly freaked out. I actually turned off the movie and watched some cable for awile before turning it back on. Let me say that my favorite genre of movies is horror. I've seen all the Texas Chainsaw Massacres, all the Evil Deads, all the Friday the thirteenths, all the Nightmare on Elm Streets, and all the Childs Plays. I've even seen Dawn of the Dead, Day of the Dead, and Night of the living Dead 1,2,3,and the 90's remake. Never have I turned off a movie because I was freaked out. Does that mean House on Haunted Hill is better or scarier than those other movies. No, it's probably only better than a few of them. I still consider this one of my favorite movies though. It's full of a few other chilling sequences. The music and sound effects also work perfectly for the movie. Now why have I given it 3 stars instead of 4. The first reason is that many of the characters are very bland and boring with little backstory on them or development. Thats a problem that I could easily overlook though. The big thing wrong with this film is the ending. It seems the makers of this film wanted to show off some computer graphics for the end. I love special effects, but it just didn't fit in here on this movie. The computerized ghost just looks stupid anyway. It looks like nothing but a pile of goop. It's not even scary at all and would've only worked if this was some kind of goofy horror/comedy(a genre that I personally hate). I think when the makers of this film found that they needed to finish the film, but still had so many characters alive, they decided to throw in some stupid pile of goop that could polish off a few of them. On my personal scale of 1-20, I give this movie a 16. The ending hurts it alot.

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