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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

Reviewer Roundup
1.  Susan Granger review follows no stars
2.  Dustin Putman read the review movie reviewvideo review
3.  UK Critic read the review movie reviewmovie reviewvideo review
4.  John Beachem read the review movie review
5.  ZT read the review movie reviewmovie reviewmovie review

Review by Susan Granger
0 stars out of 4

What's scary about this picture is how many people went to see it last weekend, proving two things: 1) you can't beat good timing, and 2) when you have a creepy dud on your hands, don't let people know it's coming - that's why critics were not permitted to view this film before it opened. Oscar winner Geoffrey Rush (Shine) plays a nasty amusement-park tycoon who invites four supposed strangers to help celebrate his wife's birthday in the notorious Vanacutt Psychiatric Institute for the Criminally Insane, promising "terror, humiliation, perhaps even murder." He obviously detest her as much as she loathes him. Rush is made-up to resemble Vincent Price, the star of William Castle's campy 1958 version, including the pencil-thin mustache. His character is even named Price, in case you missed the point. Anyway, this eccentric host offers each of his jittery guests $1,000,000 at daybreak - if they can survive the night. Directed by William Malone from a screenplay by Dick Beebe, based on a story by Robb White, there's little horror and zero originality. The villainous Vanacutt was a demented doctor who performed hideous experimental surgery without anesthesia until, once night, the inmates rebelled, igniting a fire that destroyed the place - so we're told. Of course, the ghosts still run rampant, causing death and destruction. Famke Janssen, Taye Diggs, Ali Larter, Brigitte Wilson, Peter Gallagher, and Chris Kattan look as though they fervently wished they were elsewhere. Heh! Heh! Heh! So did I. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, The House on Haunted Hill is a ghoulish, wretched 1. But the only thing frightening about it is the waste of talent. If you thought The Blair Witch Project was ridiculous, this is far worse.

Copyright 2000 Susan Granger

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