tek's rating: ½

Tower of Terror, on ABC
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I guess this was an episode of "The Wonderful World of Disney" that first aired in 1997, but I didn't see it until some years later, probably on Disney Channel. Or something.

On Halloween night, 1939, there was a party on the 12th floor of a grand hotel called the Hollywood Tower. Five people were on an elevator, on the way to this party, but at 8:05, lightning struck, and the people on the elevator vanished. One of the passengers was a child star named Sally Shine; the others included her nanny, Emeline Partridge; a singer called Claire Poulet; her boyfriend (whose name I didn't catch); and the bellhop, Dewey Todd. Dewey's father owned the hotel, and he had it closed after the accident, not wanting anyone to touch anything until the mystery was solved.

About 60 years later, we meet Buzzy Crocker (Steve Guttenberg), a reporter who was fired like 5 years ago, and hasn't been able to get a job at a legitimate newspaper ever since. So now he does tabloid stories, sometimes with the help of his niece Anna (Kirsten Dunst). Then one day, an old woman named Abigail Gregory comes to Buzzy with a story about what really happened at the Hollywood Tower all those years ago. She said her family lived at the hotel, and on the night of the disappearance, she saw Partridge casting a spell to banish Sally to some netherworld, because she hated the girl. Abigail wanted him to go into the hotel and find a spellbook that would prove her story. He didn't really believe it, but solving this old mystery might be just the story he needs to get his career back on track, so he agrees. He also hopes to win back his ex-girlfriend Jill, who's like a newspaper editor or something.

He meets a guy named Chris "Q" Todd, who was Dewey's grandson. He was scared to go into the hotel himself, but he was in charge of it, and was happy to let Buzzy in, because if the mystery was ever solved, he'd finally fully inherit it or whatever, and then he could like get rich, I guess. Anyway, eventually Buzzy and Anna meet the ghosts. And some other stuff happens. Like, apparently the spell wasn't completed. And there's a major twist in the story, though it was sort of predictable. But while someone tries to complete the spell (again on Halloween, of course) and finally banish the ghosts, the ghosts want help getting the elevator repaired so they can finally reach the party.

And I dunno what else to say. I don't want to spoil anything. It was a decent enough movie. Not great, but okay. Definitely worth watching at least once, and it's probably not something I'd mind seeing a few times. With several years between each viewing. Oh yeah, and it's based on a ride at Disneyworld and Disneyland.

Wonderful World of Disney
Halloween TV movies index
Zoog Disney