(Review originally written at 18 August 2009)

Well, the movie is simplistic and a bit lame but as a genre movie it still manages to be acceptable enough.

The movie begins quite poorly and you know from the start on already that this is going to be a very formulaic movie. It's story is just too lame and it perhaps also too desperately tries to attempt to connect the movie with its predecessor "House on Haunted Hill" from 1999. The movies are a bit similar in style but it overall gets a bit annoying how this movie is trying to explain the events which happened in the first movie. It's just too lame all and poorly written.

The movie doesn't really have good or likable enough characters in it but at least it's not being a teen-horror flick and most of the actors within the movie already had passed the age of 30. It also doesn't have too impressive actors in it, although it was good to see that they somewhat extended Jeffrey Combs role in this movie this time. He is the only returning actor that also appeared in the first movie. Erik Palladino as the villain was a misfire however. He was overacting and also certainly is lacking in the right looks and attitude to play this kind of character.

No, the movie really isn't very original and it borrows from multiple different movies, not even all horror ones. They even threw in a bit of Indiana Jones, which is of course an odd thing to do for an horror movie. Still it also does have some good moments of its own, which still makes this a very well watchable one for the genre fans. It also has quite some gore, although horror-wise the movie never gets too shocking or scary. Despite being a made for video movie, it's still a quite good looking one. They had some money to spend and they spend it well.

It's a movie that tends to get better as it heads toward its ending. At first you're thinking that this movie really isn't going to be much good but once you have accepted that the movie doesn't has the most original or clever written story and the best actors involved, you are simply starting to enjoy the movie for what it is. As an genre movie it brings enough entertainment but it also doesn't bring much special really, making "Return to House on Haunted Hill" watchable but certainly not great or really recommendable.


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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