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House on Haunted Hill

Director:William Malone
Writer:Dick Beebe
Warner Bros.; R; 96 minutes
Release:10/99
Cast:Geoffrey Rush, Famke Janssen, Taye Diggs

House on Haunted Hill is like the Houses of Horror found at most amusement parks: confidently campy, occasionally disturbing, decidedly prosthetic, and ultimately fun. It's based on a musty Vincent Price movie in which he played a creepy rich guy paying folks to spend the night in a decrepit mansion. Now the sole weirdo has been replaced with an arch, warring couple (Geoffrey Rush and Famke Janssen), but the outcome for the unfortunate guests remains the same. The House in question was once a cruel asylum for the criminally insane (eerie flashbacks tell the story), and is now filled with bad, bad vibrations. At the end, the bad vibrations get cheesy and too-easy, but the bulk is decent.

Overall, it's better than The Haunting, another recent digitally enhanced haunted-house flick.


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