I think this is the crappiest movie I've seen this year. Yes, I'm actually considering that Meet the Spartans is better than Return to House on Haunted Hill. I LOVE LOVE LOVE 1999's House on Haunted Hill. It's an incredibly fun movie to watch and has a high rewatchability factor. And that cast! DAMN! Geoffrey Rush! Famke Janssen! Taye Diggs! Ali Larter! Bridgette Wilson! Peter Gallagher!! Chris Kattan was hilarious and even small supporting roles from Max Perlich, James Marsters and Jeffrey Combs were nicely done.
When I first heard about a sequel, I thought it might be a fun idea. Then I heard they killed off Ali's character Sara (Miss Larter herself does not appear in this movie), or actually, she supposedly killed herself. I was like WTF?! You made it out alive, you have Taye Diggs and $5 million to share. Why kill yourself? *SPOILERS* It turns out Sara didn't kill herself, but she was murdered. In her incredibly poor looking apartment. What happened to all that cash?! Anyhow, RtHoHH focuses on Sara's sister Ariel (Amanda Righetti). She is forced inside The House by Erik Palladino and his lemmings to get the statue of Baphomet. That ugly thing is worth a lot of cash and is apparently worth dying for. Long story short: people go inside the house and die. Ghosts are present, but not quite in the same way as in the original nor did I see the smoke monster.
I got a big 10 Little Indians vibe from this film as characters were very quickly killed off once inside the house. At least the characters in House on Haunted Hill were developed. Here.. well, I can't even tell some of the people apart. And of course it takes ages for the worst actor to be killed off! How frustrating was that?! Actually, bad acting was a big part of the suckage here. I don't remember Cerina Vincent being that bad in Cabin Fever, but here she was barely tolerable. Now Erik Palladino is a talented guy, but horribly miscast here. I mean, Dr. Dave Malucci as the bad guy? YEAH RIGHT!
Basically, this whole movie is a disaster and not true to the original, which is a shame. Maybe if I had the choose-your-own-adventure DVD I would like it better. But I don't want to sit through this crap again. A 1/5.