Audiences fed an appetite for fear this Halloween weekend, forking over twice as much money for the horror film House on Haunted Hill than for any other release. This proved bad news for Scream director Wes Craven, whose first non-horror movie Music of the Heart opened to fairly tepid business despite good reviews.

Critics weren't so kind to House on Haunted Hill, paging through their thesauri for every variation on "horrid." A remake of the 1958 Vincent Price chiller, the film tells of four strangers who are offered a reward of one million dollars each if they can survive one night in a haunted mansion. Cliff McNeely of Preview says the movie's graphic human torture makes it "a twisted exploitation of violence ... for box office dollars." The United States Catholic Conference calls it an uninspired remake, "offering more gore than goosebumps."

The Best Man

Moviegoers just couldn't get enough of Taye Diggs this weekend, as the Haunted House actor's other movie, The Best Man, took second place at the box office. The comedy from Malcolm D. Lee (cousin of Spike Lee) stars Diggs as a young novelist whose newly published book gets circulated the week before his best friend's wedding and reveals some of his friends' sexual pasts. Christian reviews have mixed enthusiasm with disappointment: John Adair of Preview calls the film "both funny and touching," but the crude sexual elements marred his enjoyment of the film. Likewise, Michael Elliot of The Christian Critic says it's "an overtly sexual but moderately amusing tale." J. Robert Parks of The Phantom Tollbooth spent time wrestling with the theological issues brought out in the character of Lance, the Bible-believing yet skirt-chasing groom. "Lance genuinely loves God, even if he's ...

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