10/15/15 – OCTOBER HORROR MOVIE RECOMMENDATION #15 – House on Haunted Hill (1999).

House on Haunted Hill remake

Here it is. Every year I choose one. Every year I pick a movie that I actually like, that seemingly no one else in the world seems to. Yep, this is the pick that will piss the most people off (especially my fellow horror fanatics.) But I don’t give a shit. I will stand by this movie dammit. I had a great time with this flick when it came out. Saw it in the theater and had a blast. Yes, after talking about the genius of the original 1959 House on Haunted Hill yesterday, I figured I’d talk about the much-maligned 1999 remake today. Critics panned this movie. And I mean PANNED. Most fans of the original despised this movie (a lot of the reasons why I can’t really explain or else it would contain spoilers for both the original and the remake.) But honestly, if a horror movie is supposed to be fun and playful, then I swear to you, they succeeded in spades! The cast is (mostly) fantastic. Geoffrey Rush, yes Academy Award winner GEOFFREY RUSH, is a spectacular fill in for Price. They even have a few of the same mannerisms. Plus, you’ve got Famke Janssen as his diabolical wife, and a whole bunch of other capable 90’s stars from Taye Diggs to Ali Larter. But mostly… you’ve got JEFFREY COMBS! That in itself tells you all you need to know for me. Jeffrey Combs is horror royalty and one of my all time favorite actors. The fact that they even cast him shows the makers of this movie actually know and like horror. Now, granted, his role is probably the center of what many fans of the original hate about this movie, but whatever. I liked it. Like most remakes, the same rules apply, but they up the ante. A much of mysterious strangers are invited to a supposedly haunted house and if they make it through the night, they each receive $1,000,000. And just like the original, there are awesome little horror nuances everywhere, but everything here is turned to 11 from the original. But what I liked about this movie is its playfulness. Yes, it’s silly. Yeah, the CGI gets a bit silly (especially toward the end.) Yes, much of it makes zero sense. But dammit, it’s just FUN. Right down to the music. Watch for the ideal spooky usage of Sweet Dreams by Marilyn Manson and tell me you didn’t smile. Anyway, I know the 90’s were mostly a dead zone for horror flicks, and remakes are usually garbage. But in my opinion, and yes I’m potentially on an island alone here, this is 90’s awesome garbage. Fun, silly, and maniacal. Exactly what I like.

3 thoughts on “10/15/15 – OCTOBER HORROR MOVIE RECOMMENDATION #15 – House on Haunted Hill (1999).

  1. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I’ve always loved this movie & don’t understand why it’s not more popular. I remember being EXTREMELY creeped the F out the first time I watched this! It has such a neo-goth feel that I totally dig. The silly black comedy element is my favorite though. Geoffrey Rush is sooooooo good in this! The banter between him & Famke Jannasen is priceless! Every line drips with vicious sarcasm. They totally steal every scene. A must watch for me on Halloween. Good call Jeff!

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