It hasn't been a great era for haunted house movies. The third version of "House of Wax," in 2005, was awful enough to kill off the form, at least as far as big American studios were concerned. The day my review ran, a filmmaker friend who was in town for the Maryland Film Festival said, in sympathy, "Gee, Mike, you review everything." But as my colleague Chris Kaltenbach points out elsewhere on this site, haunted houses themselves are still going strong, at least in Baltimore. And in 2007 Guillermo del Toro helped produce a worthy Spanish contribution to the movie genre called "The Orphanage." No form of horror this strong can ever completely go away -- not with a heritage as rich as this one. --Michael Sragow
Courtesy of Universal Studios Licensing Inc.