House on Haunted Hill (1999) (Collector’s Edition) (Blu-ray Review)

House on Haunted Hill (1999) (Collector’s Edition) (Blu-ray Review)
DIRECTED BY: William Malone
STARRING: Geoffrey Rush, Famke Janssen, Taye Diggs
RATED: R/REGION A/1:85/1080P/NUMBER OF DISCS 1
AVAILABLE FROM Scream Factory

One night in the house, one million bucks, no questions asked. But there is a catch for anyone who accepts the offer. Murder is a way of life at the House on Haunted Hill, a jolting, effects-ramped remake of the 1959 cult classic that starred Vincent Price and was directed by screen horror legend William Castle. Geoffrey Rush plays twisted theme park bigshot Stephen Price, who’s hosting a scary/jokey birthday bash for his wife (Famke Janssen) at an abandoned institute for the criminally insane. Taye Diggs, Ali Larter, Bridgette Wilson, Peter Gallagher and Chris Kattan portray strangers mysteriously assembled for the event that could make them all very rich. Or profoundly dead. And you? We wouldn’t start the party without you.

Remaking a classic can be a bit tricky, but all things considered, I think the remake of House on Haunted Hill holds up pretty darn well these days. I won’t say it is better than the original, but coming from the decade it was delivered to us in, I’d say it stands just fine. I’m sure you could find things to nitpick at here because I would argue that it lacks the vibes and creepy feel of the original, but you do have stuff like actress Famke Janssen who really was in her prime and really sticks out among the pack in this movie. It does have some pretty cool moments even if we don’t have anything to really come close to matching up with Vincent Price, who was in the original.

For better or for worse, this is a very 1999 movie. If you were alive at that time and you start to watch this you will see what I mean. This came at a very post-Scream time and still has the look and feel of many of the genre films of the time. All things considered, I’d say this was one that stood out of the pack just a bit for mostly not just being a slasher, but fits in well with stuff like the remake of 13 Ghosts. All of which was William Castle creations. This one might be the better of the two if I had to pick and if you like this one you’ll find a very solid release from Scream Factory. I know a lot of people who love this one. I don’t love it, per say, but I do like it and I think most will for at least a good once over experience.

Extras

– NEW 2K Scan From The Original Film Elements
– NEW Interview With Director William Malone
– NEW Interview With Composer Don Davis
– NEW Interview With Visual Effects Supervisor Robert Skotak
– Never-Before-Seen Storyboards, Concept Art And Behind-The-Scenes Photos Courtesy Of Visual Effects Producer Paul Taglianetti
– Audio Commentary With Director William Malone
– A Tale Of Two Houses – Vintage Featurette
– Behind the Visual FX – Vintage Featurette
– Deleted Scenes
– Theatrical Trailer
– TV Spots
– Movie Stills And Poster Gallery

QUALITY OF TRANSFER: 93%