The House on Haunted Hill movie poster
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The House on Haunted Hill movie poster

The House on Haunted Hill - Movie Synopsis & Plot

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Unspeakable things happened at the Vannacutt Psychiatric Institute for the Criminally Insane-experiments that brought human torture to new depths of depravity ... secrets that died with their victims and the practitioners of the demonic acts that masqueraded as medicine. Now there are no living witnesses. Nothing survived Dr. Vannacutt's excesses; nothing endures except the building in which they occurred.

But that building holds all the secrets of its terrible past.

Decades after the Vannacutt Insititute was shuttered, five strangers are invited to spend a night there. Their reward is a million dollars each. All they have to do is stay alive.

It's going to be a long night.

A spine-tingling remake of William Castle's 1958 classic horror tale, Dark Castle Pictures' production of "House on Haunted Hill" combines white-knuckle terror with dark humor and cutting-edge special effects.

Billionaire theme-park mogul Steven Price (Geoffrey Rush) believes he is fulfilling the twisted wishes of his spoiled wife Evelyn (Famke Janssen) when he arranges for her birthday party to be held at the abandoned Vannacutt Psychiatric Institute for the Criminally Insane. The Institute was once the site of the most horrifying medical experiments in history, conducted by the late- and deranged-Dr. Vannacutt.

As the guests converge for the evening, Price realizes that, curiously, the five strangers are neither Evelyn's original invitees nor his own. He is unable to figure out who these people are, or how they received the invitations he intended for others. The guests themselves are equally mystified as to why they might have been included. In a spirit of mutual distrust, Steven and Evelyn Price greet their guests, each suspecting the other's motives and holding the other responsible for the strangers joining them. The actual reason this quintet has been convened will not become clear until much later...

Nevertheless, Price proceeds with the festivities, announcing that anyone who manages to spend an entire night in the house will win a substantial financial prize. He has secretly rigged the house with insidious devices designed to scare the guests out of staying, but his tricks soon become meaningless, as the mansion begins to generate terror on its own.

The house's lockdown mechanism mysteriously comes alive, trapping everyone inside and leaving them scrambling desperately to find a way out. Just as Watson Pritchett (Chris Kattan), the descendant of the building's original owners, had ominously predicted, the house begins to animate with the evil that breathes through the very building itself. Before their night of terror is over, the desperate inhabitants will unlock the secrets of the house or suffer the wrath of the demonic evil that haunts the walls of the former insane asylum.

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