Tower of Terror

Watch Tower of Terror

"Hotel Guests Check In...But They Don't Check Out!"
  • 1997
  • 1 hr 29 min
  • 6.2  (2,717)

In 1997, Disney released the made-for-TV movie Tower of Terror. The film is based on the popular Disney World and Disneyland ride of the same name, which is themed after The Twilight Zone. The movie stars Steve Guttenberg as Buzzy Crocker, a down-on-his-luck journalist looking for his next big story. Kirsten Dunst plays Sally, his plucky young niece who tags along for the adventure. Nia Peeples and Michael McShane also co-star.

Buzzy and Sally stumble upon a mystery when they discover the history of the abandoned Hollywood hotel, the Hollywood Tower. The hotel was the site of a tragic incident that happened on Halloween night in 1939, when five people mysteriously disappeared from the hotel's elevator. The hotel was closed shortly after, and the elevator shaft was sealed off. The story goes that the ghosts of the lost passengers still haunt the Hollywood Tower to this day.

Buzzy sees this as an opportunity to revive his career and convinces Sally to help him investigate. They sneak into the closed-off hotel and find themselves in the elevator that caused the tragedy all those years ago. As soon as the elevator starts moving, they are transported back to 1939, where they witness the fateful event firsthand. Buzzy and Sally then spend the rest of the movie trying to break the curse and solve the mystery.

The movie has all the elements of a classic Disney adventure. There are scares and thrills but with a child-friendly tone. The theme park ride is recreated accurately, with the iconic elevators and the eerie atmosphere of the abandoned hotel. The plot moves at a fast pace, with plenty of suspenseful moments and humor. There are also musical numbers, giving the movie a fun musical theater vibe.

The cast of Tower of Terror is another highlight. Steve Guttenberg brings his usual goofy charm to the role of Buzzy Crocker. Kirsten Dunst still had her cherubic look and had not yet developed into the actress she would become, but she still stands out as the plucky and feisty Sally. Nia Peeples plays the caretaker of the hotel and provides a strong presence. Michael McShane plays Emilio, the hotel's bellhop, and brings plenty of laughs with his bumbling antics.

One of the standout aspects of the movie is its production design. The Hollywood Tower is a character in its own right, and the art direction and set design make it feel like a real place. The 1939 sequences are convincingly recreated, with period-accurate costumes and set pieces. The special effects are impressive, especially for a TV movie made in the 90s. The haunted elevator sequences are particularly well-done, with a mix of practical and digital effects.

In conclusion, Tower of Terror is a fun and spooky adventure for the whole family. It takes a beloved theme park ride and expands its lore into a full-fledged movie. It may not be a high-budget blockbuster, but it has plenty of heart and charm. The cast is delightful, the production design is impressive, and the story is engaging. If you're a fan of classic Disney movies, haunted houses, or theme park rides, Tower of Terror is definitely worth a watch.

Tower of Terror
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 29 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.2  (2,717)