Joel Silver has been hyping this "revolutionary" video release for the last several months, and now we finally have a look at some footage. Bloody-Disgusting.com is linking to the apparently-YouTube-exclusive first trailer for Return, so click right here to get a peek at that clip. (They also give you access to a Quicktime version, which is always nice.) Aside from the multi-multi-branching option, the movie looks to be just another haunted house romp, only with a generous dose of gore because that's what horror flicks are (mostly) like these days.
But as the trailer spun, I noticed something a little strange: The words "exclusive to HD" (or something) ran across the screen as the announcer was describing the 'pick the options you want' feature. So now it's time to do a little digging...
First stop, Amazon.com: There you'll find four listings for Return to House on Haunted Hill: The HD-DVD (81 minutes), the Blu-Ray DVD (81m) and two regular DVDs, one at 81m and another at 79m -- which tells me that the "normal" DVD will also be available in an R-rated version, as if anyone would want that. No info on if the 'branching story" option is indeed exclusive to the next-gen DVD players. Then a Google search led me to this press release, and that's where the news was confirmed: Apparently this whole "multi-story" option was just a shameless ploy to get you to buy an HD or Blu-Ray DVD player. The regular DVD releases will offer the linear story only, plus some featurettes and such.