Because this part gets read by everyone who views the site (well, until the next new flick gets released - but still, it's the first thing you read when you click the page), I'm warning you now - BIG-ASS spoilers. We ready? Let's go.This movie creeped the shit outta me. Some deeply scary stuff, cool-ass camerawork, and cute performances. Then came the ending. Folks, if you want to truly enjoy this movie, leave at the 1 hour, 20 minute mark, and sit around with your friends and come up with your own ending. Smoke pot if you must, drink a couple beers, come up with something decent. You hear me? As soon as Famke Janssen gets sent through the wall and you hear the screams, LEAVE. Leave, or be subjected to the balls-out STUPIDEST ending to a movie I've ever seen. Why, you ask? Specifics:
"Don't read this until you see the flick - we're talking spoilers."
*The evil that is possessing the house becomes this sort of tree-root system that has tentacles and absorbs people. Bad idea. Do we really need to have the evil condensed into one form that chases people around? Yeah, we knew the house was evil - we knew Linda Blair was possessed in "The Exorcist", we didn't need Satan and Max Von Sydow arm-wrestling. We coulda guessed.
*This is one huge-ass house, yet they're able to run up to the attic from the ground floor in about a minute? And Geoffrey Rush is able to call down to them, from that attic WAY up there, so they know to go up to where the windows are open? I guess they were really good stairclimbers.
*The reason why the evil house invited those particular people there is explained in about a minute, in dialogue that most of us ignored, because it was so badly written, right? So we're pretty sure we know why they're there, right? So then, Taye Diggs is about to be sucked into the evil tree-branch thingy, and he yells "I'm adopted!" So the house just lets him go. Oh, no, wait, the ghost of Chris Kattan appears and saves him. Didn't the evil force KNOW that Taye was adopted, and if so, why did he get invited? Was the evil force intent on swallowing up Taye, believing him to be the natural son of the guy who worked there, but Chris got sucked in, looked at the evil force's swallowing schedule, and said "Hey, evil force - he was adopted. Let him go."? Is that it? Because, I gotta tell ya, bringing out Chris to raise the iron gate was a little too "Casper the Friendly Ghost" for my tastes. "Look, all the other swallowed people are just popping out and saying 'join us' and stuff, but Chris here is giving our heroes a hand! Good for him!"
*So, anyway, Taye and whipped-cream girl are sitting out on the ledge, and somehow, the million-dollar checks are just sitting there. The house let them have the money? Did the house really give a shit about Geoffrey Rush's wager? I figure that Geoffrey got swallowed, saw that Taye and whipped-cream girl made it out, and said "Um...evil swallowing thing? It's only fair that you give them the money now - they won the bet". And I guess the evil thing said, "Sure, why not. He's adopted, anyway." If it were a COOL evil swallowing thing, it would have been all "Geoffrey, shut up." Actually, that would have been a better ending. They could have gotten Mel Gibson to play the voice of the swallowing thing, but go unbilled in the credits, in a bit of casting that would excite us all to no end.
*This doesn't really have anything to do with the movie itself, but the dick running the projection at the movie tonight cut it off right before the credits - just shut it down. Which led to a lot of snarky remarks by audience members (myself included) that the evil had possessed the projection booth.
This movie had a lot going for it, and it would have been able to fool me into giving it a pretty good review (4 stars, I think), but the ending made me think about how terribly it was written, how non-existent the acting was, and how "The Haunting" may not have been that bad. For the first 1:20, it had me right where it wanted me. I was its bitch. But in the last fifteen, it lost me, watched helplessly as I started dating its best friend, kept following me around, calling me at all hours of the night, until I eventually had to get a restraining order. THAT is how much I hated the ending of this movie. HATED.I knew from the start who was going to live, and for the most part, I was OK with their decision. But after that ending, dammit, I was rooting for the house to open up and suck them back in. And spend all that money on some good insulation.
link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=1781&reviewer=27
originally posted: 10/30/99 18:19:00