(Welcome to Scariest Scene Ever, a column dedicated to the most pulse-pounding moments in horror. In this edition: House on Haunted Hill unsettles with nightmare imagery and shocking dream logic in its surreal Saturation Chamber scene.)
The remake of the 1959 Vincent Price horror film House on Haunted Hill marked the producing debut by Dark Castle Entertainment. The production company, operating under their initial goal to reimagine William Castle’s horror films, gave a slick update to the original material that boasted an impressive production design and a stacked cast. Most of all, it offered a surrealistic, macabre approach to the ghostly inhabitants that made the movie a standout in 1999 horror.
A harrowing opening sequence establishes the impetus for the haunting and why the quest for revenge has endured. The methodical and unrelenting pursuit for revenge leads to fast-twitching entities, gruesome deaths, and a possessed building that’s taken on an evil life of its own, all of which offers up nightmare fuel. Still, none hold a candle to the Saturation Chamber scene’s unforgettable imagery, which catapults both a pivotal character and the viewer into a dizzying descent into madness.
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(Welcome to Classically Contemporary, a series where we explore the ways in which new releases echo classic Hollywood or how classic Hollywood continues to influence modern filmmaking.)
In 1959 director William Castle, horror huckster and impresario, released House on Haunted Hill. A throwback to the old dark house thrillers of the 1930s with a devilish performance by ‘50s horror icon, Vincent Price, House on Haunted Hill is the gold standard when it comes to Castle’s work. Forty years later, Hollywood came calling to redo Castle’s films. Dark Castle Entertainment was a studio initially created to solely remake Castle’s films and they started with his best. The 1999 remake of House on Haunted Hill boasted an impressive cast and a liberal use of late-’90s CGI. So how do both hold up 60 and 20 years later, respectively? Let’s dive into a dueling edition of Classically Contemporary.
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(Welcome to Not Dead Yet, a feature dedicated to new Blu-ray releases and what special features you should be excited about. Because yes, some of us still like to own physical copies of our movies.)
Welcome back, physical media fans. It’s the start of October, so we’re kicking things off with two creepy titles worth owning…and also a movie where Dwayne Johnson fights a building on fire. Scary! The good folks at Scream Factory are offering up both Exorcist II: The Heretic and the 1999 remake of House on Haunted Hill, and both of these movies are worth owning for their own individual reasons. Then there’s Skyscraper, a Die Hard knock-off that has Dwayne Johnson giving it his all, as he usually does. But is the film any good? Find out below.
Here are the new Blu-ray releases and their special features you should check out this week and beyond.
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Every week in /Answers, we attempt to answer a new pop culture-related question. With this week’s edition arriving on October 31, today we’re asking “What is your favorite movie to watch on Halloween?” Read More »
Every week in /Answers, we attempt to answer a new pop culture-related question. Tying in with the upcoming release of Annabelle: Creation, this week’s edition asks “What is your favorite horror movie jump scare?” As always, we have submissions from the /Film writing crew and podcast team. Read More »
Posted on Wednesday, October 7th, 2015 by Jacob Hall
Hi, /Film. My name is Jacob Hall and my favorite movies are part of me on a molecular level. Cut me open and the films that have defined my life come spilling out in a great, red heap. So when I was asked to introduce myself to you guys, the community, via a list of my favorite movies of all time, I prepared myself for some gritty, Robert-De-Niro-in-Ronin-style surgery. This list is me being cut open for your amusement.
Read on all about my favorite movies after the jump.
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