Monday, February 23, 2015

Return to House on Haunted Hill (2007)

High falutin magazine editor Ariel is too busy to answer her sister Sara's phone calls. So she feels really guilty when the next day she's notified that Sara is dead. Curious to know why Sara was calling, Ariel takes down the crime scene tape across Sara's apartment door and goes inside.

While looking around, Dr. Hammer shows up.  Based on the name, you'd think he'd be a rapper with large pants. Sadly enough he turns out to be a stuffy middle aged college professor. He's looking for a diary that will lead him to the location of the Baphamet idol, which is some sort of priceless relic.

Hammer's former student Desmond is also searching for the idol. But unlike Hammer who believes it should be in a museum, Desmond wants the idol for personal gain.  All he cares about is the  money he'll get from the buyer he's lined up.  Desmond kidnaps Ariel and her date, and brings them to the house on Haunted Hill, where he and his goons run into Hammer and his graduate assistants.

Surprisingly, none of them have done any research on the house and have no idea that it is supposedly haunted, people were murdered there, and that the house can go into lock down to keep people from escaping the hell a-waiting inside.  And when Ariel tells them of the history of the house, they blow her off since the Baphamet idol is such a great find and so incredibly valuable, and she's just a stupid woman with a dead sister who saw ghosts in the house.  Life? Who needs it when they've got the legendary idol.

As expected, things go horribly wrong when the house goes into lock down and everyone is stuck inside.  Since most of the characters aren't likable, it's no big deal when they die. In fact, you'll be wanting them to die sooner than later.

While watching this movie, it's much more fun if you mishear Baphamat as bathmat, and spend the rest of the movie watching them risk their lives for a fuzzy bathmat.  Jeffrey Combs barely utters a word as the evil Dr Vannacutt, so you need something to look forward to.....the bathmat.

One of the stranger scenes in the film is when Ariel finds a large envelope in the mail which was sent from her sister. Inside is a diary and instead of being overcome with emotion at the package from her dead sister, she mumbles something like, hmmm what were you up to?  It's an appropriate response to a mystery involving a stranger, but not a recently deceased loved one.

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