Friday, June 16, 2017

Day 228: The House on Haunted Hill

I happened to do a mini-theme of 1999 horror remakes today. Interesting.

The remake of The House on Haunted Hill revolves around Geoffrey Rush as Steven Price, an eccentric millionaire who offers a million dollars to anyone who spends the night in the house and lives. There are five mysterious guests that no one seems to have invited, Chris Kattan as the owner of the house and Famke Janssen as Price's scheming wife. The house they are staying in is a former mental institution that was shuttered for abuses. Even though Price has the place rigged with tricks and traps, something else begins taking over the proceedings.

I liked this one much more than the follow-up remake of 13 Ghosts. Rush does a fine job with his Vincent Price imitation. Taye Diggs and Ali Larter make strong heroic leads in a house full of psychos and weirdos. As the identities of the guests are revealed and their motivations become clear, the movie stays busy keeping you entertained. There are twists and reveals and fake reveals, pretty much a breathless race to the end of the movie. I have some serious issues with the ending but, besides that, this is a nice, average haunted house thriller.

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