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Typically cheesy under the limited, dated television scale, but it's quite faithfully perfect of its kind of Disney expanding a story to an attraction which resulted into a considerably nice depth manageably without the initial "Twilight Zone" format, and a recognizable production value adding into the same type of experienced fun. (B)
(Full review TBD)
I remember watching this movie on TV as a kid and loving it. But I've discovered, upon recently rewatching other Halloween movies from my childhood, that many times they're not as good as I used to think. So naturally, I had the same concerns with 1997's made-for-TV movie Tower of Terror.
And at first, I thought my worries were coming true. The film does a poor job when trying to force character depth. The dialogue gets clunky and self-aggrandizing. The film doesn't truly shine until it happens organically.
Steve Guttenberg plays Buzzy, a former newspaper writer, who has lost all his credibility after a story he published turned out to be fake. So he turns to writing tabloid stories instead. He's approached by Abigail Gregory, an old lady who claims to know how child actress Sally Shine, and others, disappeared one night back in 1939 at the Hollywood Tower Hotel. She claims that Shine's nanny used dark magic to trap the young starlet's soul in limbo. Guttenberg thinks he might have a story on his hands and visits the abandoned hotel to investigate.
Guttenberg lacks a convincing performance, but he still gives us some nice wit. As the movie's lead, he's affable enough. But it's the others around him that shine a little more. Kirsten Dunst as his niece, Anna, provides solid support, but the five actors who play the hotel's ghosts give us some of the film's best moments.
What the movie does best is craft a fine mystery surrounding the strange 1939 accident and makes us care about its victims--who are all minor-to-supporting characters--but it just fails to keep us interested in its actual leads.
However, it's truly a fun Halloween movie. One of my favorites for this time of year. Kids will love it. It's not too scary, but eerie enough to pique their interest. And it holds up pretty well, giving adults a cool story to follow. It's definitely as entertaining as I remember.
Twizard Rating: 89
I loved this movie as a kid and I love this movie now. It's a great story and features the attraction in such an awesome way. Effects are pretty good for a made for TV movie. Good movie for Halloween :)
Cheesy and pretty uninventive, Tower of Terror is a lazy TV movie that will be forgotten as soon as it ends.
Movie is just as good as the ride is in Disneyworld!
Back in the 1930's an elevator fails and kills famous Hollywood people on their way to a posh penthouse party. They now haunt the building. In comes a reporter and his niece, set on solving the mystery, thereby releasing the trapped ghosts. There's no hiding the made-for-TV aspects of this, which kinda detracts from its potential. Funny, the right amount of scares for small children.
Childish. I like the ride at Disneyworld but the movie is terrible. TV movies are always terrible, they could have done better. Ok...
Super dark for disney. But still not scary. Funny at times. Fun halloween movie.
full of gags we have seen before In many other films, But the film has a lot of hart to it, And that's what counts - 7/10
It's not unentertaining, but is rather irritating because it just can't decide what kind of movie that it wants to be.