HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL 1999Dark Castle Pictures

“I lied. The house is alive. We’re all gonna die.”

It’s an eccentric amusement park mogul’s hi-larious version of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire- invite several people together for a night’s stay in an abandoned insane asylum that’s rumored to be haunted, and the last person left alive by the time the sun comes up wins the cool mil. And since the dead-ringer (no pun intended) for Vincent Price has a bit of a morbid streak, he’s set up some elaborate pranks to get the ol’ adrenaline rush going in his guests. Only thing is, the vengeful spirits of the past inmates that instigated a bloody riot years ago, and the insane doctor that performed horrible experiments on them, have some games of their own…

The first offering from the Dark Castle production company, this was universally panned by both critics and genre fans alike. I personally liked it. It was a fun horror ride, pure and simple. Sure, I haven’t seen the original, so I really can’t compare the two, but really, I went into the theater with Boz-Man, armed with a large popcorn (extra butter, natch) and a super-bucket of Pepsi at my disposal, and expected nothing more than a simple horror flick. And I was drawn in from the beginning. There’s many fun and gory moments here, from the gut-busting “Rollercoaster Of Horror” scene at the beginning (I’d ride it), that creepy scene involving the video camera and what was in that room (brrrr), to that zombie in the basement…fun stuff. Admittedly, though, the movie did seem to loose steam about three-fourths of the way through, and that ending was a massive cop-out, really. Otherwise, this remake was a funhouse ride.