House on Haunted Hill is a 1999 American horror film, directed by William Malone and starring Geoffrey Rush, Famke Janssen, Taye Diggs, Ali Larter and Jeffrey Combs. It also includes a cameo appearance by Peter Graves. Produced by Robert Zemeckis and Joel Silver, it is a remake of the 1959 film of the same name directed by William Castle. House on Haunted Hill marks the producing debut of Dark Castle Entertainment, a production company that went on to produce Thirteen Ghosts and House of Wax, two films which were also remakes. The film was followed by a sequel, Return to House on Haunted Hill, which was released in both rated and unrated editions on DVD in 2007. The film is set in an abandoned asylum, the Vannacutt Psychiatric Institute for the Criminally Insane. The head of the facility, Dr. Richard B. Vannacutt (Jeffrey Combs), performed grotesque experiments and medical procedures on the patients, killing many in the process. The hospital was closed in 1931 after the patients escaped from their cells, killing almost the entire staff (all except 5) and burning the hospital. All the patients died, their souls rumored to be trapped there forever.
Five people are invited to a party at a deserted former institution for the criminally insane. They’ve been promised a million dollars — if they get out alive. This is a remake of the 1959 Allied Artists B-movie cult classic. The main difference this time is that this version has a bigger budget, lots of high-tech effects, and a cast that includes Oscar winner Geoffrey Rush.