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House on Haunted Hill (1999)

Geoffrey Rush , Taye Diggs , William Malone  |  R |  DVD
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (286 customer reviews)

Price: $10.60 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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House on Haunted Hill + The Haunting
Price for both: $20.58

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Product Details

  • Actors: Geoffrey Rush, Taye Diggs
  • Directors: William Malone
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: April 18, 2000
  • Run Time: 93 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (286 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00003CWRF
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #31,649 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "House on Haunted Hill" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Deleted footage
  • Trailers from both the 1959 and 1999 versions
  • DVD-ROM Features: Escape from the House, 2 Essays, Website

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

House on Haunted Hill is one of the new breed of waste-no-time thrill machines, like Deep Blue Sea, and a particularly effective example at that. The plot is pure contrivance: For a party stunt, a wealthy amusement-park manufacturer (Geoffrey Rush) offers five people a million dollars if they spend the night in a former insane asylum where the patients murdered the sadistic staff. But it turns out the five people who arrive aren't the five he invited--did his wife (Famke Janssen), who hates him, make the switch? From there events unfold with a smart combination of human and supernatural machinations; spooky jolts are dispensed at regular, but not entirely predictable, intervals. The visual effects owe a considerable debt to Jacob's Ladder, a much more ambitious movie; House on Haunted Hill just wants to get under your skin, and succeeds more than you'd expect. Rush is his entertainingly hammy self; Janssen, Taye Diggs, Ali Larter, and Bridgette Wilson are attractive and reasonably straight-faced about it all; and Chris Kattan is genuinely funny as the house's neurotic owner. Some elements of the plot seem to have been lost in the editing process, but it hardly matters. More bothersome is that the scares go flat when computer effects take over at the end--the digital images just aren't as creepy as the more suggestive stuff that came before. But that's just the very end; most of the movie has a lot of momentum. Watch until the end of the credits for a final bit of eeriness. --Bret Fetzer

Product Description

When an eccentric millionaire offer a group of opposites $1,000,000 to spend the night in a so called "Haunted House" with a murderous past, they figure it is a quick way to get quick money and leave. All of them are sure it is some made up story just to mess with their heads a little and test their courage. But, once they stay in the house they start to think about the mistake they made in coming there when mysterious things start to happen.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost Great ! March 22, 2001
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Released at almost the same time as the awful "The Haunting" I wasn't expecting much, but this movie delivers.
A terrifically creepy and nasty opening and the jolting modern day introduction set us up nicely. An able cast is brought to the haunted house where unspeakable things were done to mental patients who's revenge we witnessed at the outset. Geoffrey Rush is great, doing a nice oily tribute to the inimitable Vincent Price (of the 50's version of this story).
Great stuff follows with two plots unwinding simultaneously, the fake and the real "haunting". The images of the good "doctor" appearing in the camcorder and on the surveillance cameras was terrific. I wish the whole movie could have sustained the chills generated by the "just-glimpsed-then-gone" evil and the hackle-raising stare and smile of these apparitions. And, of course Geoffrey Rush's trip in the psychotic chamber is worth the price of admission alone.
Unfortunately, someone decided they could forego the sinister doctor and his minions and victims for a big CG finish that ISN'T scary and ISN'T creepy. And so the movie ends with a bang that is actually a whimper. Too bad, they were really on to something in the buildup prior to that. Could have been great.
But, the ending is only the ending, and the leadup to it has enough good stuff to make it worth a look.
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32 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better the second time around. April 26, 2000
Format:DVD
In my hasty review that appears before this one, I truly misjudged the 1999 film "House on Haunted Hill," pawning it off as a cheap teenage horror flick comparable to "The Rage: Carrie 2." However, I was gravely mistaken, for this movie is full of all the elements that make a horror movie great. Based on the 1959 film of the same name starring Vincent Price, the 1999 version updates characters and storyline to suit modern audiences with lavish special effects and superbly filmed horror sequences. The film begins during the house's years as a mental institution for the criminally insane, as Dr. Vannacutt is performing experiments on his patients as a way of eliminating them. The inmates soon take over the sanitarium, killing all but five members of the staff, who escape as the place burns down. Skip ahead to 1999, with Steven Price (Geoffrey Rush) honoring his wife Evelyn's (Famke Janssen) wishes for a birthday party at the Vannacutt Psychiatric Sanitarium, newly remodeled into a residential home. When they arrive at the house, they discover that the guests are not the ones they invited, and both of them deny inviting the people present. The thrills begin when the "lockdown" occurs, a mechanism that encloses all windows, doors, and other means of exit, trapping Price and his guests inside. What truly makes this movie enjoyable is the fact that for the duration of the film, we do not know whether Price or the house itself is wreaking the havoc experienced by those left alive. Geoffrey Rush is terrific as Price, giving the original character, played by Vincent Price, his due justice. Famke Janssen gives sass and haughtiness to the script as Evelyn Price, and her stance and attitude make her character's moves very unique and believable. Read more ›
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Could have been a great modern horror March 8, 2000
Format:DVD
I had awaited a film that the Times reviewer had called, "so scary I actually had to look away". I didn't look away. It starts so promisingly I was thinking modern horror classic. Unfortunately, producers Joel Silver and Robert Zemickes did not have to courage to see it through. 1931. A glorious art-deco Asylum stands at the top of a hill. We watch as a nurse operates a hand cranked camera. It is trained on an operating table as a doctor operates on a still conscious patient. They notice a growing mass of faces watching from above. They continue the operation. Suddenly the patents burst in. The doctors are overrun and there the violence and imagery is quite shocking. The camera falls. The doctor screams as the knife is turned on him. Present day. Four limousines wind their way up the hill. We see beautifully framed shots of the participants as they glance at their invites. I'm thinking film-noir here and it fits perfectly. And here we must leave the narrative. For after setting the tone, the story and giving the audience some very unsettling images already, the film takes the downward turn that will continue to its conclusion. It backs away from a what could genuinely have been one hell of a ride. The set-up, the setting, the tone, the classic story (5 strangers must stay alive 'till morning to claim $1 million) was perfect; the execution is not. And who do we have to blame for this? Simple: the studio. Apparently, Warners wanted a sweet little horror/comedy. The director did not and with producers with the power of Silver and Zemickes, no pushovers by any means, it looks like they were in spilt minds themselves. What we get is a cheap, simply bad CGI finale. When will filmmakers learn that computer graphics can never be scary? Read more ›
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nicely rendered remake of a classic. March 12, 2001
Format:DVD
The opening sequence of William Malone's remake of "House on Haunted Hill" is a wonderful setup for the rest of the movie, which is brilliant mish-mash of horror, gore, intelligence, wit and frights galore. It's a feast for the senses that never lets up nor fails to please. While not the best remake of a movie in history, it is a valid and admirable effort, and has quite an adult feel to it that rises over that of the teenage horror films that have dominated movie screens the past decade.
The opening sequence takes place in the secluded Vannacutt Psychiatric Institution for the Criminally Insane, where Dr. Vannacutt's unethical experimentation on his patients leave nothing to the imagination. One night, the patients lead a bloody rebellion, trapping everyone in the asylum and setting it aflame, killing everyone inside; only a handful of the staff members survive. Scoot ahead to the present, where amusement park tycoon Steven Price is being haggled by his narcissistic wife to have her birthday party at the newly remodeled insitute, which has been converted into an expensive mansion. Sound like contrivance? It is, but hey, give it a break: it's a horror movie.
Price puts the finishing touches on his wife's guest list, but when everyone arrives at the mansion, they discover they were not the ones intended for the party. Husband and wife think that the other is responsible, while the guests, Eddie, Sara, Melissa, and Donald, are just as confused as to the reason for being invited to a total stranger's party at an even stranger location. Price explains to the group that if they stay in the house throughout the remainder of the night, they will receive $1,000,000 each, despite the repeated warnings of Pritchett, who is convinced the spirits of past inhabitants permeate the house.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A Wardrobed Cast, Chris Kattan Pre-SNL, Taye Diggs and Geoffery Rush...
Do it backwards; watch the sequel first (Return to The HOHH). It makes this film look like a cinematic wonder.
Published 1 month ago by Michele Hax
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed...
No sex,horror, scary moments. This must be one of the fake scary movies PLEASE do NOT buy SAVE YOUR TIME AND MONEY.
Published 2 months ago by Juan Hernandez
1.0 out of 5 stars Love the movie but the DVD is nonfunctioning.
I bought this DVD because I enjoy the movie but when I received it I found out that it not only does not function in my DVD player but also isn't playable in my computer either.
Published 3 months ago by Valerie Newgard
4.0 out of 5 stars Good movie.
I really liked this movie. I think Geoffrey Rush is a fantastic actor with a great sense of humour. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Cheryl Cole
5.0 out of 5 stars a classic
this movie is probably one of my favorites in the history of classic horror films, the graphics aren't all that great but the movie and story line are just amazing!
Published 4 months ago by Sami
5.0 out of 5 stars a MUST SEE!
I am glad that their lips match what is being said! Some dvd 's are Lip SYNC-ING, and this one is not.
Thanks
Published 4 months ago by sareen
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent film!
A sweet movie. Definitely creepy every time I watch this one. Cheaper option with the DVD, but it doesn't matter to me.
Published 5 months ago by BRazz
4.0 out of 5 stars Much better than the original.
I dug it. It could have used some T&A, but it was well done and kept me interested. Good special effects.
Published 5 months ago by James A. Ruffner
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Spooky movie
Semi Classic , still scary, fun and entertaining. Lots of suprises that will keep you on the edge of your seat.
Published 5 months ago by Richard Waters
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie
I have been watching this movie since i was 9 years old and i gotta tell you it never gets old for me. one quality horror movie.
Published 7 months ago by rob
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