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House on Haunted Hill

Six strangers have the chance to make $1,000,000 EACH. All they have to do is make it through the night alive. 

Year: 1999 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 (XWide) 
Certificate: BBFC 18 Cert – Not suitable for under 18s 
Subtitles: The level of subtitling in this film is unknown to WSC 
Directed by Unknown 
Starring: Unknown  

House on haunted Hill initially seems to be a fairly standard horror film a group of people challenged to spend a night in a haunted house. However the film is actually much better than that. The host of the party Stephen Price (played by Geoffrey Rush) is a theme park designer and he turns the party into his own theme park with booby traps for the guests and a million dollar prize for anyone who can survive the night.

The house itself was once a psychiatric hospital where Dr Vanacutt tortured and murdered his patients and the evil still lingers in the house. Things start to get scary at the party when the house engages its locking mechanism, trapping the guests inside. The film then calms down for a period and introduces you to the characters. These are Eddie, a former baseball player (Taye Diggs) Donald, a secretive doctor (Peter Gallagher), Sarah, A business exec (Ali Laker) and former game show host Melissa (Brigitte Wilson) along with jittery caretaker Pritchitt (Chris Kattan)

Once the characters are established, the film becomes an action driven piece with the gusts initially fractious and argumentative but when Melissa disappears with a scream, they begin to work together. Her investigation is one of the best scenes in the film, where she sees a patient being dismembered through her camera only to see that there is nothing really there.

Eddie, Sarah and Donald look for a way out of the house while Steve and his wife Evelynn (Famke Jennsen) each accuse the other of trapping them in the house and Pritchitt goes round blaming the house telling everyone it is aware. As the characters are picked off by forces unknown, the tension rises to a strange but dramatic climax in the attic.

This is not character driven but it is a good horror film with some truly disturbing moments and is well worth watching.


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Screenings of this film:

1999/2000 Summer Term (35mm)
1999/2000 Summer Term (35mm)
1999/2000 Summer Term (35mm)
1999/2000 Summer Term (35mm)