House on Haunted Hill (1999)

Directed by William Malone.  Written by Robb White and Dick Beebe.  Starring Jeffrey Combs, Taye Diggs, Peter Gallagher, Famke Janssen, Chris Kattan, Ali Larter, Geoffrey Rush and Bridgette Wilson.

Plot: a man, Mr. Price (Rush), plays a game, offering $1,000,000 to any guest that can survive the night in a haunted house


Price is an amusement park mogul with a fucked up wife (Janssen) who insists on having a party thrown in her honor.  The party is to take place at a supposedly haunted building that used to be a psychiatric hospital.  Only the guests that show up are not the guests that were invited, but Price decides to play the game anyway and offers everyone there $1,000,000 to stay the night.

The guests/participants are the building’s owner, Prichett (Kattan) who spent time living in the building as a child after it was trasformed into a private residence; Jennifer (Larter), a film producer; baseball player, Eddie Baker (Diggs); former TV personality, Melissa (Wilson); and Blackburn (Gallagher), a doctor.  As the night begins, they are all suddenly trapped inside the building and dirty little secrets about all of them come out to play.  And, of course, there’s the ghosts.

******SPOILER ALERT******




So, apparently, the building itself made the guest list.  The ghosts inside wanted to get back at the descendents of the people that started the experiments on the people in the hospital.  But it’s a sucky motive because the house goes after Ali Larter and Taye Diggs and they weren’t really related to anyone.  Also, the story line with the Price’s was stupid and confusing.  We really wanted to know more about the building and the ghosts than the horrible couple.  It just wasn’t what we were hoping for.

But Chris Kattan is funny as usual and the cast is great, except that DJ doesn’t like Famke Janssen.  I don’t mind her though.  No one but Chris was all that likable when the movie started because no one wanted to listen to Chris and his warnings.  There were some unnerving scares and special effects that added to the score.  And we really liked that Chris’s ghost helped Ali and Taye at the end of the movie.  Although, I have to ask, how the hell are they going to get down from the top of that building?

Even with the bad stuffed, we liked it.  My score: 60.  DJ’s score: 57.

“What good is a million dollars if you’re dead?”

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