Well if Warner Bros. was trying to hatch a new and novel concept in an industry generally known for warmed-up leftovers, here it is: Apparently that direct-to-video House on Haunted Hill sequel will be using what the DVD geeks know as "branching" technology to put the viewer in control of the story. Put another way: If you've ever read one of those Choose Your Own Adventure books, that's what we're looking at here -- only in movie form. (There actually is a Choose Your Own Adventure DVD, which is for kids, but it's pretty nifty all the same.)

According to the Wall Street Journal and Return to House on Haunted Hill producer Joel Silver, the DTV sequel "will give viewers the option to pick different story lines and four alternative endings." (Thanks to Bloody-Disgusting.com for sharing the news, because WSJ.com is a subscription-only website.) This would represent a big step forward from New Line's Final Destination 3 DVD, which took only a few baby steps in the "choose your own plot" direction. And frankly I think it's a very cool little gimmick. Let's face it: Something called "Return to House on Haunted Hill" was, fun flick or awful trash, destined to hit video stacks as yet-another-DTV sequel, but now with this potentially amusing little interactive twist, it could make for a really entertaining novelty flick.

Directed by Victor Garcia, RTHOHH doesn't have a definite release date yet, but the movie just went from a "mild curiosity" to something I hope to review on this very website. Here's hoping the producers have opted to present an "official version" along with all the branching options. It would make the reviewers' job so much easier.