Friday, December 4, 2009

'Return to House on Haunted Hill' is a wasted trip

Return to House on Haunted Hill (2007)
Starring: Amanda Righetti, Erik Palladino, Tom Riley, Kevin Pacey, Andrew Lee Potts, and Jeffrey Combs.
Director: Victor Garcia
Rating: Four of Ten Stars

Treasure hunters are trapped and targeted for death by angry spirits when they invade Hill House in search of an evil idol reputed to be hidden there.

This sequel to a misguided remake of the original "House on Haunted Hill" is a smidgen better than the movie it follows, but it actually suffers becausethe tenious connections it has to the 1999 movie leads to logical lapses and plotholes. (The biggest of is the way the groups of characters can just wander into the house easily and unchallenged. After the events of the other film, whoever owns it would HAVE to have taken steps to secure it. And don't get me started on the "hey, let's break the locking mechanism of the house by shooting at it" scene.)

The logical lapses, however, are minor whem compared to the bad dialogue that is standard throughout this film and the Stupid Character Syndrome that comes into play more than once to keep the flimsy plot moving--even when allowing for ghostly befuddlement of wits, several characters in this film are so stupid one wonders how they remembered to breathe.

The actors do a pretty good job with the material they have--Eric Pallandino is particularly fun to watch as he chews up scenery as the evil treasure hunter who is the inadvertent cause of everyone else's doom--and the special effects are passable. But, overall, this is a pretty weak film which deserves to fade into total obscurity.