The House on Haunted Hill (1999)

THE BONE COLLECTOR is a bit of a bore, despite the strong presence 
of Denzel Washington and Angelina "And Look At *These* Lips" Jolie.
He's a paraplegic ex-forensics specialist, she's a sharp NYPD beat 
cop, and together they track (yawn) a clue-leaving serial killer.
(Now *there's* something that's never been done before!)  Lots of 
good, goosing, grisly atmosphere in this one, though with too lit-
tle plot propulsion.  (It drags.)  The leads don't have the great-
est of chemistry, either, but the supporting cast is solid.  Luis 
Guzman, Michael Rooker, Queen Latifah, and a surprisingly effective 
Ed O'Neill all appear.  And don't miss the "rat cam" in the pic's 
most shamelessly (and, admittedly, deliciously) manipulative se-
quence.  Phillip Noyce (THE SAINT) directs...  THE HOUSE ON HAUNTED 
HILL, on the other gnawed hand, *is* a snooze-fest.  For a while it 
ain't bad, with its high-tech effects, ultra-spooky sets, frequent 
fake-outs, and intentionally hammy acting.  (Geoffrey Rush keeps 
both feet firmly planted in the "B" Zone...)  The tanker, I think, 
is that the story throws out too many red herrings.  Is it real?  
Is it a put-on?  Is it a put-on of a put-on?  Do the characters 
think it's real?  Do the characters think it isn't?  Is the hubby 
really trying to kill his wife?  Is she really trying to kill him?  
Etc. etc. etc.  Wait for the video and then don't bother renting.  
Famke Janssen, Peter Gallagher, Taye Diggs, Ali Larter, Chris Kat-
tan, and Bridgette Wilson also appear.  William Malone directs.

Grades: B- (BONE) D (HOUSE)

Copyright 1999 Michael J. Legeros
Movie Hell is a trademark of Michael J. Legeros

Originally posted to triangle.movies as MOVIE HELL: In the Cool of the Evening When Everything is Gettin' Kind of Groovy

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