House on Haunted Hill Reviews
Pritchard was hilarious because he was such weak willed character, yet oddly the strongest.
He never wanted to be there but he never gave up trying to save everyone despite his constant ramblings (some drunken) of "we are all going to die any way" "the house will kill us all" "WHY IS NO ONE LISTENING TO ME?!!!" "Yeah sure I'll lead you to the dark basement to try and find a way out - but it's pointless because the house will kill us you know etc" lol
I found him the most interesting character of all ??????
It's ironic that he was used by the Price couple to secure a place for this party (of certain damnation for distant relations) and yet he managed to save a life even in death.
Adding the asylum onto the original movies plot was genius for adding atmosphere, but it wasn't utilised as much as it could have been.
Dr Vannicut being resurrected in his "stop start" ghost form was unsettling as hell and the film needed more of that.
When TV gal Miss Marr awakens the house - the effect of seeing a surgery through her camera and it not being there when she lowered her camera was great. Then they slowly turn and look at her through the camera - creepy goldmine!
Then they get HER on the surgery table - but the horror of her death falls flat!
She dies offscreen and we of course only have broken camera footage that a genius in the group somehow recovers so we are treated to an arm flopping on a surgery table for a minute or so with a scream that's cut short - NOT scary.
Then we see Miss Marr disassembled as a display body in case casually bumped into by Price in a dramatic chase scene - proof that the arm flopping was pathetic at scare factor and the character meant nothing towards the film.
All in all too much time was wasted on the Price's lives and character padding (and then Blackburn dragged it out) so the movie didn't really have time for more ghosts and scares, although it did have it's moments.
This is just my opinion, doesn't mean I'm right.
And Marilyn Manson does a good cover of "Sweet Dreams" by the Eurythmics??
Es uno de esos claros ejemplo del cine hiperbólico de principios de siglo que tanto sufrimos especialmente en los géneros del terror y la acción, pero creo que esta al menos tiene un encanto especial.
So William Castle's original House on Haunted Hill may not be, in my opinion, a genre classic, nor is it a horrible film. It falls somewhere in between. It scared me as a child and delights me now as an adult. Just about everything about it is dated and difficult to relate to on an esoteric level I suppose, but it's too damned charming and entertaining to dismiss entirely. I hold it in high regard as one of my favorite horror films, even if it isn't a true classic by definition, or if its creator was much more concerned with atmosphere. Not just in his films but with the audiences that saw it. Anyone familiar with William Castle or has seen the film Matinee will know what lengths the man went to to entertain his audience. Anyways, with all this in mind (I didn't mean to write a book, I promise), I give you my take on the remake of House on Haunted Hill.
To update a cult favorite, I believe firmly you have to stick with the original formula to some degree. A few strangers are invited to spend the night in a haunted house, and if they survive the night, they each receive one million dollars (only ten thousand dollars in the original). Pretty cooky concept, wouldn't you say? But the idea reaches out to the audience on a very basic level. If you were handed such a proposal, would you do it? Of course you would. You would be a fool not to because that is a lot of money and if all you have to do is spend the night in a creepy old house...well, I know I'd do it. So the movie works for an audience on that level. Storywise, little has changed from the original until the third act, which I won't spoil.
When it comes to character, you have to spread the butter kinda thick. Give the audiences people they can relate to, people they feel uneasy about and people that make them laugh. This film has all of that. There's been some criticism that everyone in the film is thinly drawn because not a lot of information is given about them, only the basics, ala most horror films. It's my belief that their performances carry themselves and you don't need heavy exposition or background information. It's all there in who they are as characters without deep explanation, and that's pretty important.
As far as atmosphere, this film oozes it. You're given a brief but disturbing look at what has taken place in this house before you spend the night in it and it keeps you looking around the corners. The set design is absolutely superb. Dark and creepy, right down to the fireplace in the makeshift parlor. The lighting is a little too bright at times (my feeling is shadow is creepier than actually seeing everything) but that doesn't detract much from the atmosphere. I always felt that the basement of the house should have been underlit, like in the original. Other than that, it all works well.
When it comes to direction and editing, I believe the latter is just a bit lacking. I think William Malone gives wonderful strong direction to his actors and they all give solid performances, particularly Geoffrey Rush and Chris Kattan, but I believe his editing instincts may need a bit of polish. I've seen some of the footage that was not in the final cut and I believe some of it belongs in the final edit. Perhaps an extended version of the movie will appear someday and some of this footage can see daylight.
I shouldn't comment on this because I'm talking about the film, but I always loved the original teaser trailer for this movie. I still think it's one of the best horror trailers I've ever seen. It sets up the atmosphere and tone of film perfectly.
I know I should talk about a lot of the plot specifics, but I'd feel like I'd spoil it for those who haven't seen it because even though it was a major release, it's still underappreciated 10 years later. So if you're in the mood for a very creepy horror film with some real atmosphere, you owe it to yourself to see this one. It may not be a "classic" either, but it's damned enjoyable and one of the best horror films in recent years, not to mention one of the finest remakes out there.