HALLOWEEN OF HORROR REVIEW: RETURN TO HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL

CAST

Amanda Righetti (Friday The 13th 2009)
Cerina Vincent (Power Rangers Lost Galaxy)
Erik Palladino (666 Park Avenue)
Tom Riley (Da Vinici’s Demons)
Andrew Lee Potts (Alice)
Jeffrey Combs (Gotham)
Return to House on Haunted Hill

Ariel Wolfe (Amanda Righetti) is the sister of Sara Wolfe (Ali Larter), a survivor of a publicity/birthday event hosted by Steven Price eight years ago in the Vannacutt Psychiatric Institute for the Criminally Insane. In the 1920s, the asylum was overseen by the sadistic psychiatrist Dr. Richard B. Vannacutt (Jeffrey Combs). Sara claimed that ghosts of the house residents killed Price and the party guests, and that she barely escaped with her life, but no one believed her. She later commits suicide and a bereaved Ariel tries to find out why. Ariel discovers a diary written by Dr. Vannacutt that reveals the history of the Institute. She and her friend Paul (Tom Riley) are then kidnapped by an unscrupulous art dealer, Desmond Niles (Erik Palladino), who knows a great deal about Sara and Vannacutt’s hospital. Ariel quickly realises that Sara didn’t commit suicide: Desmond killed her. Desmond forces Ariel to help him find an artifact allegedly located inside the old Vannacutt Psychiatric Institute, a figurine of the demon Baphomet. While Desmond’s henchman Samuel (Andrew Pleavin) holds Paul captive outside the asylum, Ariel, Desmond, and four of Desmond’s accomplices enter the building. Once inside, they encounter Dr. Richard Hammer (Steven Pacey). Dr. Hammer has been lured into the asylum by his assistants Kyle (Andrew-Lee Potts) and Michelle (Cerina Vincent). Desmond is one of Dr. Hammer’s former students, and Michelle is Desmond’s lover. Michelle seduced Dr. Hammer to learn what he knew about the sanatorium and the Baphomet idol, and then lured Hammer and Kyle into the asylum so they could help search for the statue.
 Return to House on Haunted Hill 바탕화면 - 공포 영화 바탕화면
Several loud noises are heard, and Ariel explains that the building has been rigged to keep everyone inside for at least 12 hours. The group splits up to search for the idol: Desmond with Ariel, Michelle with Richard, and Kyle with Desmond’s accomplice Norris (Gil Kolirin). The remaining henchmen, Warren (Chucky Venice) and Harue (Kalita Rainford), each go off alone. Warren is killed when his body is sucked into a wall when he receives a vision about a patient being locked inside the wall, set up by Vannacutt. Harue is seduced by several lesbian ghosts, and has a vision about Vannacut ordering his staff to kill them in their electric head bands. She dies when her face is sliced off by the ghostly Dr. Vannacutt. Ariel is separated from Desmond and dragged into a padded cell. The ghost of a dead inmate (George Zlatarev) traumatizes her by showing Ariel the depravity he and the other inmates suffered under Dr. Vannacutt. These images reveal that Vannacutt was driven mad by the idol, and later performed experiments on the mentally ill. The dead inmate led a revolt against Vannacutt, during which the sanatorium burned down. (The audience is shown footage from the 1999 film House on Haunted Hill, which depicted these events.) The deaths of characters in the previous film were assumed to be caused by the spirits of dead inmates seeking vengeance. But now Ariel is shown that the dead are actually forced by the idol to do Vannacutt’s bidding and did not willingly kill. Ariel falls unconscious. She wakes to find herself in a straitjacket, and screams. Her cries lead Desmond, Dr. Hammer, and Michelle to her cell and they rescue her.

In the asylum’s entrance hall, Norris, who has a vision about a patient being dismembered too, is dismembered by ghosts. Ariel, Michelle, Desmond, and Dr. Hammer hear Kyle scream and rush to the entrance hall. Although the 12 hours are up, the master locking mechanism begins to lock the house down again. Ariel escapes before the house is sealed again. But she discovers that Samuel and Paul have entered into the house to look for her. The main door opens as if to invite her in, and she goes back inside. In the entrance hall, Samuel swears he heard Desmond tell them to enter the building. While Desmond and the others discuss the situation, Samuel is lured away by a shadow and killed by the ghost of Dr. Vannacutt. In the ensuing chaos, Paul, Kyle, and Dr. Hammer subdue and disarm Desmond and Michelle.

Ariel convinces the group to search for an exit through the sewer. The group first goes through the hydrotherapy room. Desmond knocks Kyle into the water and flees with Michelle. Ariel tries to save Kyle, but he is dragged to the bottom of the pool by a ghost and slain, and one of the ghosts gives Ariel a vision about the patient being thrown into the water and drowned while struggling to get to the chain. Dr. Hammer and Paul pull Ariel from the water and save her life. Elsewhere, Desmond and Michelle argue over whether to keep looking for the idol. Convinced Michelle wants the idol for herself, Desmond attempts to kill her. Michelle flees but is killed by Vannacutt. Desmond resumes the search alone. Ariel, Paul, and Dr. Hammer discover a grate leading to the sewer and a way out of the asylum, but it is blocked by iron bars too narrow for a person to fit through. The ghost of the rebellious inmate gives Ariel another vision, showing her that the idol is in a hidden chamber behind an oven in the asylum’s basement crematorium.

Ariel, Paul, and Dr. Hammer descend to the crematorium, locate the correct oven, and discover a secret exit at the oven’s rear. They walk down a corridor and discover the “heart of the house” (composed of living flesh). Ariel tries to destroy the idol with her handgun but it is indestructible. She removes the idol, reasoning that if it is flushed down the sewer and leaves the building all the spirits will be freed. The team travels back up the corridor and out of the oven, but are ambushed by Desmond. With the idol threatened, the spirits begin attacking. Desmond is seized by ghosts and pushed into a furnace where he is burned alive after he has a vision about the patients being sick and also one of them is being sent to the oven to be burned alive. Paul avoids death by fleeing into the oven and back down into the heart of the house. Ariel and Dr. Hammer rush to the sewer grate to flush the idol before Paul dies. But Dr. Hammer is overcome by the idol’s evil and tries to strangle Ariel. They fight, and Ariel encourages Hammer to resist the idol’s influence. While Ariel and Hammer are fighting, the ghost of Vannacutt and inmates appeared, but Vannacutt ordered the inmates to halt and watch Ariel and Hammer fighting, hoping one of them will die. Later on Hammer recovers his senses, but the ghost of Dr. Vannacutt appears and begins killing him. Ariel seizes the idol and throws it through the grate and into the sewer. The spirits begin vanishing (saving Paul’s life at the last moment). Several spirits attack Dr. Vannacutt, tearing him apart. With Vannacutt no longer controlling the locking mechanism, the building comes unsealed. Ariel and Paul leave.In a post-credits scene, a man and woman are shown about to make love on a beach. The woman feels something under the sand beneath her. They dig, and pull the Baphomet idol into the light.

Return to House on Haunted Hill

Not as good as the first one but was still very enjoyable. There’s not much of a story but plenty of gore. If you like nudity, gore and plenty of ghosts ready to inflict the next gruesome death, then you might like this one.

REVIEW: ALICE (2009)

CAST

Caterina Scorsone (Grey’s Anatomy)
Andrew-Lee Potts (Primeval)
Matt Frewer (Lawnmower Man 2)
Kathy Bates (Misery)
Philip Winchester (Solomon Kane)
Colm Meaney (Star Trek: DS9)
Tim Curry (IT)
Harry Dean Stanton (The Avengers)
Zak Santiago (Caprica)
Charlotte Sullivan (Smallville)
Alessandro Juliani (Battlestar Galactica)
Teryl Rothery (Stargate SG.1)
Eugene Lipinski (Arrow)
Alex Diakun (Andromeda)
Kevan Ohtsji (Godzilla)
Jason Schombing (Sanctuary)
Fiona Vroom (Power Rangers)

Alice Hamilton is a judo sensei living with her mother Carol. Her father disappeared when she was ten, and she has spent much of her life looking for him. She invites her new boyfriend Jack Chase to dinner, but is shocked when he gives her a valuable-looking ring as a gift. Jack abruptly leaves, Alice following only to witness Jack being abducted by several men. A man (the White Rabbit) appears and finds out that Alice is in possession of the ring because he hears the click of the mechanical box that contains the ring opening behind her back. He manages to take the box from her, thinking the ring is still in it, but Alice had already quickly taken it out and resealed the box. The White Rabbit runs away and Alice chases him to find out where they had taken Jack, but falls through a giant looking glass and lands in Wonderland, which has evolved over the past 150 years. The Queen of Hearts rules over Wonderland from the Heart Casino, where people from Alice’s world (“Oysters”) are taken to, sedated and play games in the casino, their positive emotions drained from them and turned into drug-like substances for the people of Wonderland to digest, keeping them under the Queen’s control.

Alice escapes her own capture, with the ring still in her possession. Identified as an “Oyster” by the tattoo she gains, Alice is taken to the Hatter, a member of the resistance seeking to free the Oysters from the Queen’s control. The Hatter takes Alice to ask Dodo to help save Jack, but Dodo refuses, until the Hatter reveals the ring Alice wears, which Dodo recognizes as the Stone of Wonderland, able to open the Looking Glass back to the human world. Alice flees when Dodo tries to kill her, the Hatter accompanying her to the forest where they escape a jabberwock and meet Charlie, a surviving White Knight, who fled a battle years ago where Wonderland’s knights were wiped out by the Queen. The Queen has the White Rabbit executed, and has the Walrus and Carpenter revive Mad March, her favorite assassin to track Alice.

Alice deliberately allows Mad March to capture her, so she can negotiate with the Queen to free Jack in return for the ring, which Alice has hidden. Jack appears, revealed as the Queen’s son and to already be engaged to the Duchess. However, Jack passes Alice her father’s watch, implying he is alive and in Wonderland. Alice is put in the Truth Room, where Tweedledum and Tweedledee interrogate her to learn the ring’s location, but she is freed by the Hatter and Charlie, the trio escaping back to the forests, whilst Jack also escapes. In hopes of aiding the resistance and returning Alice home, Hatter uses his connections to find someone who can bring them to Caterpillar, leader of the resistance, using the ring as leverage. To their surprise, the agent who arrives is Jack, revealing him as an agent of the resistance who had originally stolen the ring as part of a ploy to initiate a coup to overthrow the queen. Trusting him, Alice retrieves the ring, and accompanies Jack to meet Caterpillar, who reveals that Alice’s father is Carpenter, but he has no memory of her. As the Carpenter has been crucial in process for extracting emotions for the Queen, Jack had deliberately approached Alice in hopes that she could help the Carpenter break away from the Queen’s control. Just as the Carpenter shows signs of regaining memories, Mad March and his minions arrive, capturing Alice and Jack whilst Caterpillar escapes.
Harry Dean Stanton, Caterina Scorsone, and Philip Winchester in Alice (2009)
Reunited with her ring, the Queen decides to send Alice home and execute Jack. The Hatter stages a rescue with Charlie but is captured by Mad March after Charlie loses his courage and flees. Charlie, after feeling guilty for deserting the Hatter, uses the skeletons of the extinct White Knights as a distraction to trick the Hearts into believing they are under attack. After being tortured by Dr. Dum and Dee, Hatter kills Mad March and escapes. Alice escapes again, joining up with the Hatter to snap the Oysters out of their sedations and rally them to escape. Carpenter appears, having regained his memories, but is killed by Walrus. The Oysters’ unpleasant emotions run high, causing the casino to start collapsing. Alice, the Hatter, Jack, the Duchess and the Queen escape but Winston, the loyal King of Hearts willingly perishes knowing his wife never loved him. With her followers no longer listening to or fearing her, the powerless Queen surrenders the Stone of Wonderland to Alice. Alice returns home, learning her experience may have been a dream when she awakens in hospital to find she had been found unconscious an hour after chasing Jack. However, the next day she discovers the “construction worker” who found her was the Hatter. The two share a passionate kiss in front of a looking glass, as Carol stares in shock.

Scorsone makes an excellent modern Alice — intelligent, capable and capable of butt-kicking her way out, but still vulnerable and young (“You don’t remember me!”). Potts makes a quirky, disheveled Hatter, and Frewer rounds out the main trio as a mildly insane White Knight. Winchester and Colm Meaney are also excellent, Tim Curry is brilliant but underused, and Kathy Bates absolutely rules as the casually cruel, petulant Queen. And yes, she does say “off with his head!. lots of action, a touch of romance, and just enough surreality.