Return to House on Haunted Hill (also known in some TV listings as Return to The House on Haunted Hill) is a 2007 horror film and sequel to the 1999 remake of House on Haunted Hill. Directed by Víctor García, the film depicts a group of people searching for a mysterious idol hidden inside a haunted psychiatric asylum. Nearly everyone is killed during the search by supernatural forces, which seem to be connected to the idol.
Ariel Wolfe (Amanda Righetti) is the sister of Sara Wolfe (Ali Larter), a survivor of events some years ago in the psychiatric asylum known as the Vannacutt Psychiatric Institute for the Criminally Insane. In the early part of the 20th century, the asylum was overseen by the sadistic psychiatrist Dr. Richard B. Vannacutt (Jeffrey Combs). Sara claims that ghosts killed all who entered the building, but no one believes her. She commits suicide and Ariel tries to find out why.
Ariel discovers a diary written by Dr. Vannacutt that reveals the cruel history of the Institute. She and her friend Paul (Tom Riley) are then kidnapped by an unscrupulous art dealer, Desmond Niles (Erik Palladino), who knows a great deal about Sara and Vannacutt's hospital. Ariel quickly realizes that Sara didn't commit suicide; Desmond killed her. Desmond forces Ariel to help him find an artifact allegedly located inside the old Vannacutt Psychiatric Institute, a statuette of the demon Baphomet. Desmonds henchman Samuel (Andrew Pleavin) holds Paul captive outside the asylum...while Ariel, Desmond, and four more of his accomplices enter the building. Once inside, they encounter Dr. Richard Hammer (Steven Pacey) - who has been lured into the asylum by his assistants Kyle (Andrew-Lee Potts) and Michelle (Cerina Vincent). Desmond is one of Dr. Hammer's former students, and Michelle is Desmond's lover. Michelle seduced Dr. Hammer to learn what he knew about the sanatorium and the Baphomet Idol; she then brought him and Kyle into the asylum, so that they could help search for the Idol.
Several loud noises are heard. Ariel explains that the building has been rigged with a series of locks, bars, and gates that will keep everyone inside for at least 12 hours. Using MP5 submachine guns, Desmond's henchmen damage the machinery and conclude they can still escape. The group splits up to search for the Idol: Desmond following Ariel, Michele following Richard, and Kyle with Desmond's accomplice Norris (Gil Kolirin). The remaining henchmen, Warren (Chucky Venice) and Harue (Kalita Rainford), each go off alone. Warren is immediately killed when his body is sucked into a wall. Harue is seduced by several lesbian ghosts, but she is killed by the ghostly Dr. Vannacutt when he slices her face off with a scalpel. Ariel is separated from Desmond and dragged into a padded cell. The ghost of a dead inmate (George Zlatarev) traumatizes her by showing Ariel the depravity he and the other inmates suffered during Dr. Vannacutt's reign of terror. Vannacutt was driven mad by the Baphomet Idol, and later performed his ghastly experiments on the mentally ill.
The ghost reveals that he led a revolt against Dr. Vannacutt, during which the sanatorium burned down (the audience is shown footage from the previous film which depicted these events). The spirits of the dead inmates are being forced by the Idol to do Vannacutt's bidding; they do not willingly kill. Ariel, overwhelmed by these visions, falls unconscious. She wakes to find herself in a straightjacket, and screams. Her cries lead Desmond, Dr. Hammer, and Michelle to her cell; all three rescue her.
In the asylum's entrance hall, Norris is dismembered by ghosts. Ariel, Michelle, Desmond, and Dr. Hammer hear Kyle scream; all four rush to the entrance hall. Suddenly, the master locking mechanism kicks back in. Ariel alone rushes out of the asylum before it locks down, only to discover that Samuel and Paul have entered the house...supposedly on Desmond's orders, which Desmond himself insists he never gave. The main door opens again, inviting Ariel back inside. She reenters the hospital to find Desmond and the others discussing the situation. Then Samuel is lured away by a shadow and killed by the ghost of Dr. Vannacutt. In the ensuing chaos, Desmond and Michelle are disarmed and subdued by Paul, Kyle, Dr. Hammer and Ariel.
Seeking an escape from the house, the group enters the hydrotherapy room...which is dominated by a large pool of water. Desmond and Michelle trick Kyle and throw him into the water, then flee. Ariel plunges in after Kyle and tries to save him, but her efforts fail as he is slain by ghosts of the pool's other victims. Paul and Dr. Hammer send a chain down to Ariel...whom they haul out of the water, saving her life. Elsewhere, Desmond and Michelle keep looking for the Idol. When they split up, Michelle is killed by the demonic Dr. Vannacutt. Desmond resumes the search alone. Ariel, Paul, and Dr. Hammer discover a grate leading to the sewer - and a possible escape from the asylum - but it is blocked by iron bars too narrow for a person to fit through. The ghost of the rebellious inmate gives Ariel another vision, showing her that the Baphomet Idol is hidden behind an oven in the asylum's crematorium. Ariel and the others must destroy the idol, in order to free the ghosts and leave the house.
Ariel, Paul, and Dr. Hammer descend to the crematorium. They locate the correct oven, behind which is a secret exit. They walk down this hidden corridor to discover the "Heart of the House", which is composed of living flesh. Ariel tries to destroy the Baphomet Idol by shooting it with her handgun, to no great effect. So she removes the Idol, intending to throw it down the drain in the asylum washroom...reasoning that, if the Idol leaves the building, all the spirits will be freed. Leaving the Heart of the House, the threesome are ambushed by Desmond. With the Idol threatened, the spirits attack. Desmond is seized by ghosts, pushed into a furnace and cremated. Paul avoids death by fleeing back into the oven and down once again into the Heart of the House.
Ariel hurries to flush the Idol down the sewer grate before Paul dies. But Dr. Hammer shows his true, avaricious colors by snatching the Idol from Ariel and then trying to strangle her. The two have a murderous fight, which is interrupted by the reappearance of Dr. Vannacutt. While Vannacutt kills Hammer, Ariel recovers the Idol and drops it through the grate into the sewer. Several spirits vanish from the house, pausing only to save Paul's life. Several more spirits, including the dead inmate who guided Ariel, attack Dr. Vannacutt and tear him apart. Then all the ghosts vanish. With Vannacutt no longer controlling the locking mechanisms, the building comes unsealed. Ariel and Paul reunite in the lobby. They go out to leave in Desmond's car. Just before they depart, Ariel realizes something: by removing the Baphomet Idol from the house and freeing the spirits, they have also released Baphomet's evil from the building into the world.
In a post-credits scene, a young man and woman are about to make love on a beach when the young woman feels something under the sand beneath her. They dig for it - it's the Baphomet Idol! They wonder how much money they could get for this Idol at a museum or a pawnshop...
- Amanda Righetti - Ariel Wolfe
- Cerina Vincent - Michelle
- Erik Palladino - Desmond Niles
- Tom Riley - Paul
- Andrew Lee Potts - Kyle
- Jeffrey Combs - Dr. Richard B. Vannacutt
- Steven Pacey - Dr. Richard Hammer
- Kalita Rainford - Harue
- Gil Kolirin - Norris Boz
- Andrew Pleavin - Samuel
- Chucky Venice - Warren Jackson
- Tatina De Marinis - Ariel's Assistant
- Stilyana Mitkova - Sara Wolfe's Ghost
- George Zlatarev - Lead Inmate Ghost
- Laia Gonzàlez - Nurse Ghost
- Ali Larter- Sara Wolfe (flashback)
- Geniva Lorentosa - Naked Beach Model #1
- Oksana Borbat - Beautiful Woman Ghost #1
- Xeniya Fesenko - Beautiful Woman Ghost #2
- Nikolav Iliev - Man on Beach
- Zhasmina Toskova - Woman on Beach