House on Haunted Hill, the one without Taye Diggs

Last week, Psych got its viewers thinking about Clue. And then Clue got me thinking about William Castle‘s House on Haunted Hill. Made in 1959, House on Haunted Hill is arguably a template for Clue. On one of horror’s familiar “dark and stormy” nights, a handful of strangers arrive at a reputedly haunted house, a place where seven people have been murdered, 4 men and 3 women—the same make-up as the guest list. The party’s theme centers on a dare: those guests who make it through the night locked up the house with no electricity and no way to call for help will walk away with $10,000.

Is this movie high concept? No. It is an enjoyable trip back to the time of cheaply made exploitation double features that aimed to make you jump in your seat at least once? Absolutely. Continue reading House on Haunted Hill, the one without Taye Diggs

Get Clued In

Clue (film)
Clue (film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In 1985, the movie Clue managed to something  incredibly difficult: it turned a classic board game into a compelling movie.  Simply making flattering comparisons between it and the Rhianna-fied Battleship is too low a bar.  Instead, consider how impressive it is that Clue succeeded in translating a roll-the-dice-and-move, logical deduction game into a story more watchable than the spate of films based on mission-driven video games (e.g., Prince of Persia, Hitman, Max Payne). Continue reading Get Clued In