The bad thing is, no one that crafty exists today. Instead of creative and inovative gimmicks to entertain, Hollywood relys on special effects and rap stars instead. Remakes are another key to their unoriginality. Two of the EXACT same movies came out in the Summer of 1999, one was "The Haunting" (remake of The Haunting) in which people spend the night in a haunted house. And there was "House on Haunted Hill" in which people spend the night in a haunted house. Too many people got these movies confused! Both of them BUTCHERED their respective originals beyond belief!
"House on Haunted Hill" has only two things going for it, a somewhat cool soundtrack, and a few hot girls. Taye Diggs isn't that bad of an actor, yet he picks awful movies to star in. The same is true with with Geoffrey Rush. Rush was nominated for a Best Actor Oscar for "Shine", and then he degrades himself by starring in "Mystery Men" and this movie. In "House on Haunted Hill" Rush reprises Vincent Price's character and plays Stephen Price (really dumb script). He makes scary rides (actually cheesy rides that only scare lame reporters who do human interest stories for local television), and he's a millionaire. He invites a bunch of stupid people to this haunted house and offers them a million dollars in they stay the night.
SPOILER OF ANOTHER MOVIE: Now the original version wasn't all that good, and had a rather Hitchcockian ending. The house wasn't really haunted. Now in this version, the house really is hanunted, by bad special effects and SNL cast members chewing up the scenery at an unimaginable rate. Actually, everyone except Taye Diggs tries to chew the scenery, but nobody does it as atrociously as Chris Kattan. Peter Gallagher gives it a good effort, but he doesn't deserve to chew scenery. Peter Gallagher is in the same market as Jean Claude Van Damme in the sense that he stars in direct to video movies, with the occasional HBO or Showtime original picture.
Unlike most "scary" movies that rely on cheap thrills like startling noises, etc. This movie actually has some creepy sequences that are pretty cool looking. Well not that cool looking, but it's the thought that counts... right? The plot makes no sense and never tries to. The screenplay was non-existent, the producers relied too heavily on their mediocre special effects to entertain. In fact, I think EVERY 'summer blokcbuster' involves a producer hiring some big stars and saying "We have a cool idea and a bunch of neat special effects but no story, could you just wing it?"
Over all I give this movie 3 stars. I actually found that watching people in Florida hand count balliots on CNN held more entertainment than this movie, and that's about as bad as watching paint dry or grass grow. This movie just goes to show why I save a lot of money over the summer.
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