An October staple, “House on Haunted Hill” is a must-have title for horror fans, whether it’s William Castle’s 1959 feature (one of whose jump-scares landed at No. No. 37 on Bravo’s 100 Scariest Movie Moments) or its superior 1999 Dark Castle Entertainment Remake. that accompanies escape.
The gameplay element is a financial incentive: the winner will come out of the fortified building significantly richer. In the original, Vincent Price’s peculiar fat cat, Loren, offered the winner $10,000, a tidy sum in 1959. When Dark Castle’s remake of “House on Haunted Hill” was released four decades later, the prize pool (offered this time by Geoffrey Rush, though his character is called Price and he clearly uses the horror icon as a guiding star in his performance) swelled to a million.
The source of the alleged hauntings has also changed. The specter-filled mansion is now a converted private residence of the Vannacutt Psychiatric Institute for Criminally Insane, leading to a fantastic fourth-wall-breaking scare featuring an operating room and portable camcorder, one of many stylized atmospheric sequences with eerie imagery. But the parameters of Robb White’s original story (one of five he wrote for William Castle productions) remained: survive a night of confinement in this creepy house, and the money is all yours. you.
“House on Haunted Hill” is one of the few entries on this list that, by its professed rules, could allow multiple players to survive. But survival horror films generally operate by Highlander rules: there can only be one.