You may not believe in ghosts but you cannot deny terror
Dr. Markway, doing research to prove the existence of ghosts, investigates Hill House, a large, eerie mansion with a lurid history of violent death and insanity.
It still scares me to no end....
A masterclass in scare tactics. Sounds, shadows and things that go bump in the night, it has everything and it knows that things imagined are far scarier than things seen. Required viewing for anyone who enjoys and/or makes horror films.
I am not really participating in the usual Halloween movie-rama for October 2013. But I was pleased to see this one show up on TCM this weekend. I always enjoy it.
This viewing, I paid attention to Claire Bloom as Theo, the lesbian-with-ESP. I wanted to watch for the subtextual clues about her orientation. I don't know if I am just a product of a culture than can read the signs better or if I am spoiled by already knowing Theo's sexuality from previous viewings and reading the novel, but it was shockingly obvious.
Bloom is wonderful, though, working with flirty looks and silently communicating a great deal before the "nature's mistake" speech from Nell (a speech which I had…
More a haunted house-based drama than a supernatural thriller, "The Haunting" is a stately and deliberately-paced production. Aesthetically and technically, the film is a masterwork of textured set design and decoration, severe angles, and deep-focus cinematography. Narratively, the film is a character study, dealing with themes of guilt, fear, finding where one fits in, and family. It is both impressive looking and impressively acted.
As an experience, "The Haunting" is not interested in visceral scares; it is interested in suggestion, idea, and foreboding. It is not about the thing that jumps out from the shadows; it is about what could be lurking behind the door and what could be causing the bumps in the night.
"The Haunting" may be tame by today's horror standards, but it is chilling at time and the praise-deserving precursor to many of the genre's greats.
I just read a book earlier today that proclaimed this one of the scariest films ever made, so I took it up on the challenge. The results were not too disappointing..
The film is about a Dr. Markway, who gathers three people in the infamous haunted Hill House to study it for any hauntings or supernatural phenomenon. Eleanor, a homeless woman, Luke, a young skeptic, and Theodora, a closet lesbian (I've read about the subtext in two different professional reviews, and yes, it's all here).
This is a very stylish film, and I must admit, quite spooky. It sets up the atmosphere and story with a very nice flashback, before we move into present time and things slowly but surely…
I should start this review by saying that 10/10 is a rating that I rarely give. In fact, this is the first 10/10 I have newly awarded since joining Letterboxd and this film is now in a prestigious - well, maybe not - club of 6 or 7 films that have earned perfect marks from me.
This film absolutely astonished me in not only its ability to scare but also in its quality as a film. Right from the opening shot of Hill House, I knew that I was going to enjoy this film, but my adoration for it increased as the film went on and the constantly creepy atmosphere grew and grew, caused only by the aforementioned "deranged house".…
A classic. Who knew a breathing door could fill you with so much terror.
Often copied, never equaled.
Understated adaptation of the Shirley Jackson story. Lush set decoration and some nice direction by Wise provides the atmosphere. An excellent performance by Julie Harris drives the piece.
The way this film is shot, the atmosphere, the delightfully creepy scares, the house, the plot - all amazing. A film that very much deserves its place as an influential classic.
However, I don't think I've ever seen a character-driven horror film with such obnoxious characters! I haven't seen very many movies where every single person gets on my nerves, but my goodness, I could not stand any of them.
Until now, I hadn't even heard about this film. The title caught my attention & without any solid expectations or anything considering the time of its release, I simply dived in to experience this black & white horror without thinking what I was getting into and I've to say that in the end, it turned out to be surprisingly awesome example of a supernatural horror, a genre masterpiece to be precise. The Haunting has a remarkable feel of creepiness in its atmosphere from the very beginning that doesn't let go for one moment, the photography is excellently done, both the interior & exterior of the house and the zooms & close-ups add to the nervousness of the film. Plus, it always keeps you guessing…
Neither scary nor an interesting character piece. See The Innocents or The Changeling instead. Yaaaaaaaaaawwwwwwwwnnnnn.
Eleanor is so annoying and neurotic, but I did like this movie regardless.
The best haunted house movie ever made! A professor (Adam) is investigating the notoriously haunted Hill House, but as help he hires six people. Only a few show up, including the lonely, creepy Eleanor (Harris), the mysterious psychic Theodora (Bloom), and a determined college student (Tamblyn). Things get weirder the longer they stay, but it all suspiciously seems to be aimed toward Eleanor. Why? "The Haunting" was named the scariest movie ever made (I read it on Wikipedia), and even though it isn't, I LOVED IT. This movie is remarkable. Look at the William Castle gimmick ghost movies-- they are nerdy and have terrible actors. This however, is quite the opposite. Robert Wise was smart to use only strange noises…
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Robert Wise takes everything Val Lewton taught him about the power of suggestion and pours it all out in this stunningly gorgeous haunted house film that, through wonderful camerawork and sound design, is a hell of a lot scarier than filling it with special effects and monsters. Well, once we're in the house, at least, as the first 20 minutes or so fill us in the back story that wasn't particularly needed, and the conditions of our heroine Julie Harris, whose potential is stifled by the terrible decision to have her deliver a disembodied voice-over for her state of mental health for anyone that can't read her facial expressions. Thankfully, once we're in Hill House, it's a rather thrilling and…
Considered one of the scariest films ever, this was a huge disappointment. The obvious things to applaud are the amazing set design and cinematography. If its legacy was built off that, than I can perhaps understand, but as a horror film, I do not. It features ridiculously hammy acting and an equally ridiculous amount of exposition and set up. It isn't until the final 20 min that anything exciting happens and it pales compared to Psycho which came out 3 years prior.