RETURN TO HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL
Reviewed by: Donny Broussard
What's it about
A bunch of hot young people venture into a haunted house in order to find a statue that is worth millions of dollars, and super hottie Cerina Vincent keeps her clothes on.
Is it good movie?
Dark Castle usually turns out fun popcorn movies that provide two hours of enjoyment in front of the boob tube, but with this direct-to-DVD release they missed the mark. Instead of trying to bring something new to the table the filmmakers opted to throw in every horror clichť they could, add in a few quick cuts, and call it a day.
This sequel to the remake picks up by introducing Ariel (Amanda Righetti) whose sister Sara was played by Ali Larter in the remake. Ariel now works at a successful magazine where she flirts with her boy-toy photographer until she gets the news that her sister has committed suicide. So the pair decides to have their first date at the scene of the crime so that Ariel can look for some reason behind her sisterís suicide, but really itís just a reason for the filmmakers to introduce the bad guys.
Thatís right, just when Ariel thought she could come into her sisterís apartment and stare at the bloody furniture until her heartís content, the bad guys bust in and ruin her moment. Desmond (Erik Palladino) the leader of the baddies tells Ariel that he is after a statue of an evil goat God, that is worth millions on the evil cult leaders wanting to take over the world market.
So after all the introductions are over with everyone and their cousinís sisters brother shows up to search for the statue in the haunted house (or is it the hill thatís haunted and not the house). And of course after everyone is in the house, they become trapped, split up (stupid), run for their lives, and die. Dr. Vannacutt (Jeffrey Combs) is back to quick cut his way into his victimsí lives. I love Combs and am happy to see him in anything, but the filmmakers didnít give him much to work with. Also back are the ghosts of the mental patients, which all have short back-story flashbacks that are told with lots of quick cuts just before they kill off a house guest. The best one of these useless additions is a scene involving a lesbian couple that gets naked and makes out with one of the female houseguests before killing her off, the rest I could do without.
Some of the special effects would have been much more effective if the filmmakers wouldnít have hid them behind all the quick cuts and 3D. Also, if I never see that girl from ďThe RingĒ in another movie itíll be too soon. That and the fact that Cerina Vincent is in this flick and thereís not even one shot of her bodacious tatas was a huge disappointment. Instead of showing us the tatas, the film wastes its time by showing a guest wonder off, flashback, quick cut, scary ghost, quick cut, blood, quick cut, and another quick cut just for good measure.
If this flick was on television I would definitely have a few beers and waste some time with it, but I donít think itís worth the price of a rental.
Video / Audio
Audio: The sound was loud and clear.
Video: Looked beautiful
Character Confessionals - Give each of the characters a chance to tell everyone why they are there. Because itís evident that the movie itself didnít provide enough detail in-between all the flash cuts.
Search for an Idol - Is a featurette that tells the tale of the Baphomet Idol that is at the heart of the house. Itís a kind of neat documentary style short that is worth checking out.
Additional Scenes - Is exactly what the title suggests, a group of scenes that got cut from the flick. I enjoyed watching the stuff that got cut out, but by the end of it liked the movie itself even less. Most of the stuff they cut out would have at least added a little humor into the mix.
Mushroomhead Music Video Ė There is a video for the bandís song ďSimple SurvivalĒ which is just like every other metal video out there.
Even though I didnít care for this flick I am planning on renting the HD version of this disc that works like the ďChoose Your Own AdventureĒ books from back in the old days. Maybe that version might have more to offer.
Part of the reason horror fans rent direct-to-DVD flicks is because of the promise of blood and guts juxtaposed between just the right mix of tits and ass. And while this flick has its share of both it still fell short.