Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.
USA, 1999. Dark Castle Entertainment. Screenplay by Dick Beebe, based on a story by Robb White. Cinematography by Rick Bota. Produced by Gilbert Adler, Joel Silver, Robert Zemeckis. Music by Don Davis. Production Design by David F. Klassen. Costume Design by Ha Nguyen. Film Editing by Anthony Adler.
How many bad remakes of old horror films do we have to put up with before they all finally stop? Between The Haunting, Ghost Ship and this shoddy adventure, not one is worth a major glance. The incomprehensible plot surrounds a thrillmaster theme park honcho (Geoffrey Rush) and his unhappy trophy wife (Famke Janssen) on the occasion of her birthday. They’ve invited a group of strangers for a party at an abandoned and reputedly haunted psychiatric hospital of the 1930s, promising a one million dollar reward for whomever survives the evening. Scary thing is, a lot of the freaky goings-on that occur throughout the evening aren’t Rush’s doings; they’re actually being orchestrated by evil spirits in the house itself. Cast members Bridgette Wilson-Sampras, Ali Larter, Chris Kattan, Taye Diggs and Peter Gallagher have a great time being the bullseye targets on this 90-minute ride, but the audience isn’t scared for a second and the ending is ridiculous and abrupt. Notice that Rush’s last name in the film is that of the horror film legend who originated the role in the fifties.