The Horror Asylum

Sign Up   Forgot Password? 
11,660 horror articles & features | 6,975 horror movies | 1,565 horror reviews | 1,333 giveaways hosted | 226 delicious interviews Established in 2001  
The Horror Asylum
  Horror News   Reviews   Giveaways   Interviews
Movies | TV | DVDs | Books | Games Movies | DVD | Books | Games Just Added | Ending Soon Just Added | Archives
Home About Enquiries Submissions Advertising Premium Feeds Cookies

LATEST HORROR HEADLINES

Horror-on-Sea Entry Echoes Hitchcock Starkness Are Food Supplies Running out for the Walking Dead Survivors? When Cheers Turn To Screams...An Interview with the Creative Team Behind Mercy Christmas Dark Moon Comic Ends With a Blast!
The Top 5 Virtual Reality Horror Games Classic Horror Shows that should be Rebooted British Horror 'Whispers' Continues to Scare Up U.S. Audiences The Best Retro Horror Games

WIN Vampariah on Digital Download
WIN Vampariah on Digital Download
Win FEAR THE WALKING DEAD: THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON on DVD
Win FEAR THE WALKING DEAD: THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON on DVD
WIN Attack of the Killer Donuts
WIN Attack of the Killer Donuts
WIN a HORROR PRIZE PACK from Level 33 Entertainment
WIN a HORROR PRIZE PACK from Level 33 Entertainment
WIN William Friedkin's SORCERER on Blu-ray
WIN William Friedkin's SORCERER on Blu-ray
WIN Dark Night on DVD
WIN Dark Night on DVD


House on Haunted Hill
Buy from Play.com Buy from Zavvi.com

House on Haunted Hill (1999)

movie | Movie Details
Images, Posters, News
| Comments
Have your say

Plot Summary:
"When an eccentric millionaire offer a group of opposites $1,000,000 to spend the night in a so called "Haunted House" with a murderous past, they figure it is a quick way to get quick money and leave. All of them are sure it is some made up story just to mess with their heads a little and test their courage. But, once they stay in the house they start to think about the mistake they made in coming there when mysterious things start to happen."


Reviewer: Josh Winning @horrorasylum
Location:UK
Review Date: 31 October 2001 My Rating: out of 5

 

# We seem to be in an age where genre movies either shame-fully play out the same old cliches with paper-thin plots and characters (ala Hollow Man), or take the smarter route and parody the boring cliques of yester-year while still maintaining a certain amount of suspense (ala Scream). While the self-paroding style is starting to become old par itself, there is - believe it or not - a happy medium, which House on Haunted Hill proves. While the movie's plot contains many of the typical conventions of your usual 'haunted house' tale, there are more than enough fresh set-pieces and ideas to take this plot one step further, and make House on Haunted Hill something a little special.

Ripe from her success opposite Devon Sawa in Final Destination, Ali Larter shines as the sweet-but-smart Sara Jenez. Her appearances in other projects (up until now) has been rather limited, which works to her advantage as she is both refreshing and new in this as a new face - and one not yet bogged down with media attention. In fact, the entire cast - including Famke Janssen, Bridgette Wilson, Geoffrey Rush, Taye Diggs etc - are a delight and put in some fine performances. There are even cameos from Cult favorites Jeffrey Combs and James 'Spike' Marsters, which make House on Haunted Hill all the more enjoyable.

It is something of a let-down, however, that the full history of the house is never properly explored, and the reason behind the new guest list is revealed far too quickly to allow a proper and more involving mystery to unfold. Such a rich history - as is contained in an age-old insane asylum, no doubt - is a shame to waste, and there could have been something genuinely disturbing created if the writer's had taken time to explore it instead of rushing hastily through a so-so script.

Despite this quibble, House on Haunted Hill has some nice elements which mark it an above-the-rest shocker. It also has the ability to be disarmingly smart and inventive (something of a wannabe documentarian finds that as she films an empty room, the camera picks up scenes from the past - this scene in particlar was very effective). And it's nice to finally find that a late-'s director still realizes that what you don't see can be far scarier than what you do - so instead of bucket-loads of gore being thrown at us (don't get me wrong, there's still enough gore at times!), it's up to the viewer to imagine what has happened instead.

And yes, at last, a climax that isn't ridiculously over-the-top and doesn't dress itself up to be something that it's not (again, ala the dreadful Hollow Man!). It's nice to know that there are still some film-makers out there who know when enough is enough.

#OVERALL SUMMARY
While it's a shame that certain aspects of the house's past are never examined, and the idea of Price being a credible suspect is never dealt with with enough flare and explicit-ness, House on Haunted Hill is a great minutes entertainment with adequate effects and original direction. Even if the ending is left unshamedly open for a sequel...




Blood and Guts: Comments

Username:
Password:

Not Registered?
Sign up for FREE >>




 
There are currently no comments.
Why not have your say!?



LATEST REVIEWS

Happy Death Day Movie Review

Happy Death Day

The Ritual Movie Review

The Ritual

Mercy Christmas Movie Review

Mercy Christmas

The Unraveling Movie Review

The Unraveling

The Witch Movie Review

The Witch

The Other Side of the Door Movie Review

The Other Side of the Door

The Conjuring 2 Movie Review

The Conjuring 2

The Bye Bye Man Movie Review

The Bye Bye Man

Rings Movie Review

Rings

The Boy Movie Review

The Boy

Red Christmas (Short) Movie Review

Red Christmas (Short)

Life Movie Review

Life

Whispers Movie Review

Whispers

Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy's Revenge, A Movie Review

Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy's Revenge, A

Suspiria Movie Review

Suspiria

LATEST GIVEAWAYS

WIN Vampariah on Digital Download Win FEAR THE WALKING DEAD: THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON on DVD
WIN Attack of the Killer Donuts WIN a HORROR PRIZE PACK from Level 33 Entertainment
WIN William Friedkin's SORCERER on Blu-ray WIN Dark Night on DVD
Win NUMB on Digital Download
Now you can Watch your favorite Horror Movies using the Official ShowBox App

AN INTERVIEW WITH

An Interview with Doug Hawley
Doug Hawley







Vampires.com Werewolves.com