Prayer Focus
Movie Review

House on Haunted Hill

MPAA Rating: R for horror violence and gore, sexual images and language

Reviewed by: Gabe Rodriguez
CONTRIBUTOR

Very Offensive
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Adults Older Teens
Genre:
Horror Mystery Thriller
Length:
1 hr. 33 min.
Year of Release:
1999
USA Release:
Octobera 29, 1999
Cover Image from House on Haunted Hill

Starring: Famke Janssen, Geoffrey Rush, Ali Larter, Peter Gallagher, Lisa Loeb | Director: William Malone | Writer: Dick Beebe | Distributor: Warner Bros.

“House on Haunted Hill” is a poorly made remake of the 1958 Vincent Price classic of the same name. The storyline revolves around a group of five strangers being offered $1 million to stay the night in a “haunted” house. If they are still alive come morning, they get the dough. If not, well, isn’t it obvious? Wasted stars, a bad script, tons of gore, and poor special effects help turn the potential for a good thriller into a bad horror flick.

Objections include much profanity, especially in the first half hour or so; a ton of supernatural violence and a mass amount of gory murders (including a few stabbings, a beheading, a near drowning in a vat of blood, etc.) Sex related material is surprisingly restrained for an R-rated movie, with a few nightmarish images of non-sexual female nudity and a few sex related comments. Occultic and spiritual material is rather objectionable as well, with a lot of ghostly talk and sights involving the spirits of the dead residing in the house that used to be an insane asylum. This film is NOT appropriate for anyone under 15 or so, and even that is pushing it.

Overall, “House on Haunted Hill” is a non-suspenseful gore-fest with few surprises and only a couple of likeable characters. Its content is quite offensive and won’t take a liking to most Christians unless they are the die hard horror fans type (which I haven’t met a lot of). Take my advice: it’s a B-movie, and B stands for Bad.

Viewer Comments
This was a pretty horrible movie all around, primarily due to the amount of profanity involved. The screen writers appeared to have worked overtime in cramming as much verbal filth into the film as possible. I don’t agree with the review regarding the occult messages. The movie was too poorly done for even an inkling of that to be conveyed. The “ghost” in the film, or whatever it was supposed to be, looked more like a large hairball than anything evil or imposing, and I think viewers even younger than the 15 years suggested as a cut off in the review will see this movie for what it really is—a poor attempt of someone in Hollywood making money on a script someone else wrote years ago! My Ratings: [2/1]
—Guy Dana, age 45
This had to be one of the worst movies I have ever seen. My sister and I made the mistake of going to the movie because we know nothing about it. We also walked out after about 45 minutes and were both sickened by the gore and the choppy edits. The actors were actually doing a fairly good job but the director must be twisted mentally in my opinion. My Ratings: [1/1½]
—Louis, age 38
I agree with the reviewer with the exception that there were several occasions when I was vey tense. A couple of times I really jumped (and I am not a jumper by nature). Several times I even looked away from the screen in anticipation that something scary would happen. My Ratings: [1½/2]
—Dennis Bills, age 29
I believe that this movie is not a B-movie. I thought that it had a valid plot, which if the reviewer would have paid attention, that is exceptionally written. This movie is gory but its plot gives enough to make it a good movie. It is very suspenseful. If you can honestly say that you knew what was going to happen and when then it would not have been suspenseful, but I doubt anyone can. The language in this movie was suprising. I believe that the bad language could have been left out and the small scenes of nudity too, then, it would have been great. Overall, a good Friday night horror flick. My Ratings: [2/5]
—Joseph Clark, age 18
…I thought it might be an interesting movie but it wasn't. We sat through about 30-45 minutes of it and it was way too long. It was way too gory and lots of profanity. I felt so uncomfortable being there. My husband and I walked out of the theater. It was a waste of time and money. The cool thing was that the theater gave us our money back. My Ratings: [1/1]
—The Holman’s, age 27