Macabre...ish Horror Review: House on Haunted Hill

 

House on Haunted Hill, 1999/ 1 hr 39 min.

 

The Prices marriage has disintegrated, they hate each other. Evelyn (Famke Janssen) insists her amusement park mogul husband, Stephen (Geoffrey Rush) throw her a party at the once abandoned hospital, now converted private home that the current owner, Watson Pritchett (Chris Kattan), believes is evil.

 

It was once the Vannacutt Psychiatric Institute for the Criminally Insane, headed by the sadistic Dr. Richard Vannacutt (Jeffrey Combs). The patients revolt and started fires and killed the staff, all but 5 died as the burning building was locked down.

 

And today, 68 years later, 5 people arrive for the party. But something’s wrong, no one knows each other or The Prices but the party goes on as planned. There’s food, drinks and party favors, guns.

 

It is a themed party and the challenge is to see who can remain until morning, the prize is 1 million per participant. Everyone who leaves or dies, forfeit their million to the remaining guests.

 

The house’s security system, the previous assylum’ shields, activates and they are locked inside. While the Prices’ blame each other, some of the guests search for the control room and immediately weird things start happening.

 

The massive maze of a basement is terrifying and made worse by the bodies and remaining vestiges of asylum examination rooms and therapeutic chambers, that are in it and the fact that it’s crumbling. Plus the building is evil.

 

It’s not long before people starting dying and the truth about the guest list comes out and the point of Evelyn having the party here.

 

The effects are nice. It’s creepy and it’s a good cast. Also on the list is Ali Larter, Peter Gallagher, Taye Diggs and Bridget Wilson. Not as gory as you might expect but what there is, is graphic.