- “I think I just let a ghost into your apartment.”
- ―Mr. Galvao, to Buzzy.
Tower of Terror is a 1997 television film, directed by D. J. MacHale. It is based on the theme park attraction The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at Disney's Hollywood Studios in Lake Buena Vista, Florida where some of the scenes were shot and was originally a presentation of The Wonderful World of Disney. Unlike the theme park ride, this movie has no connection to any incarnation of The Twilight Zone.
The film revolves around the fate of five people - singer Claire Poulet, her boyfriend Gilbert London, child actress Sally Shine (who is said to be modeled after child actress Shirley Temple), her nanny Emeline Partridge, and bellhop Dewey Todd, who were about to attend a Halloween party at the Hollywood Tower Hotel in 1939. A bolt of lightning violently strikes the elevator, killing the guests. Since then it was believed that the Tower was cursed and haunted by the spirits of the elevator riders.
When newspaper reporter Buzzy Crocker and his niece Anna met up with an old woman named Abigail Gregory, they were told that Emeline orchestrated the incident through an evil spell, claiming that she was annoyed over the girl's spoiled attitude. However, it backfired, trapping the guests as spirits in the earthly realm. Abigail is able to reverse the spell, if the elevator is repaired - as long as the team finds something that belonged to each of the hotel guests, and repeat their actions in the elevator on Halloween, freeing their spirits from the hotel. They then enlisted the help of Chris Todd, a car mechanic and Dewey's grandson, who, despite being initially reluctant, volunteered to help his deceased grandfather and the other guests.
After attacks of assassin dummys and some supernatural events, it is revealed that Abigail was the one responsible for the death of the hotel guests, and murdered her sister Sally, born Sally Gregory, out of personal vendetta and jealousy against her sister's booming career. Buzzy then realized that what they did gave Abigail the means to complete her spell. The team then rushed back to the hotel, but it was too late.
Unaware of this, the ghosts then got on the elevator. Anna rushes in as well, trying to keep the guests from boarding. Sally then ran off, joining the living as the elevator moves up. They then confronted Abigail, who then tearfully admits her wrongdoing. Sally reveals the truth that the whole party was a surprise birthday for her older sister. Abby, Buzzy, Jill, Q and Sally then boarded the service elevator, catching up with the others. Anna managed to escape from an emergency escape hatch, and rejoins Buzzy and the others in their elevator. The lightning strikes again, and the groups plunge downward. Sally then forgives her sister, and they both turn into a shower of gold dust, slowing both elevators to a stop.
The groups are saved, and they all went to the Tip-Top Club on the top floor, restored to its former glory. One by one, the ghosts then ascended to Heaven, along with the other partygoers. Abigail, young once more, appears, meeting up once more with her sister, who gives her a surprise birthday present. The Gregory sisters then joined hands and vanished into the night, breaking the curse on the hotel. With the spell broken, the Tower was then re-opened, with Q taking charge.
- Steve Guttenberg as Buzzy Crocker
- Kirsten Dunst as Anna Petterson
- Nia Peeples as Jill Perry
- Michael McShane as Chris 'Q' Todd
- Amzie Strickland as Abigail "Abby" Gregory
- Melora Hardin as Claire Poulet/Carolyn Crosson
- Alastair Duncan as Gilbert London
- Lindsay Ridgeway as Sally Shine/Sally Gregory
- John Franklin as Dewey Todd
- Wendy Worthington as Emeline Partridge
- Lela Ivey as Patricia Petterson
- Richard Minchenberg as Dr. Daniels
- Marcus Smythe as Surgeon
- Don Perry as Great Grand Dad
- Michael Waltman as Reporter
- Ben Kronen as Mr. Galvao
- Bill Elliot as Bandleader
- Shira Roth as Young Abigail
- Lynne Donahoe as Chloe
- Dean Marsico as Photographer
- ↑ Abigail Gregory: "I.... I couldn't sing. And I couldn't dance."
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