House On Haunted Hill (1999)

WILLIAM MALONE

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BB

USA, 1999.  Dark Castle Entertainment.  Screenplay by , based on a story by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by , , .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  

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 () 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 , , ,  and 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.

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