Modern horror film today relies upon computer graphics, copius amounts of cursing and beautiful actors and actresses pretending to be talented.
Directors and producers should take heed from the imagination and uniquity that was shown in the amateur flick "The Blair Witch Project" which, despite a 6th form college Media Studies A-Level type ending, and annoying american actors was a highly engrossing film.
What Blair Witch Project got right was the rule that you should never show the evil doer throughout the film. Evil Dead 1-3, Blair Witch and other now noticeably cult films used this technique.
And so did the director of "The Haunting".
This film is an intriguing analysis of a disturbed woman from an uncaring background, haunted by her mother who fell ill and was bed-ridden. The daughter had to look after her for a long time, suffering from depression and stress until one night her mother banged on the wall and she just ignored her. The mother died and the daughter blames herself. She decides all of a sudden to join a team of people that are going to spend a few days in a house on a hill. (Hill House). The team is made up of paranormal enthusiasts, a sensitive, and the young heir to the house.
The mixture of people really decides the amount of tension between the characters, let alone the ghosts! The sensitive senses the main characters psychological problems which stem from her poor background. Small conflicts happen between them throughout the film until the sheer terror presented to them by this evil, dark, twisted house ultimately unites all the characters.
The House begins to mock the disturbed woman who begins to lose her mind, very much like Jack Nicholson in "The Shining". This eventually leads to a very decent ending for a film of this sort.
The actors are quite literally superb, from the disturbed woman to the paranormal investigator who coins the excellent phrase "The worst protection against the supernatural is a closed mind"
The Ghosts are never seen. This really heightens the fear factor and makes you wait for the next chilling moment. One truly chilling moment is when the disturbed woman is lying asleep suddenly awoken by a noise. As she mulls over about what had happened during the day she grows more tense about her surroundings. The camera moves toward a very strange position, it points at the wall with moonlight shining from the right. In the background a monk-like chanting begins to grow in intensity and volume while a small childs crying can be heard under the chanting. As the moonlight begins to heighten in the sky small holes in the wall begin to shadow resembling a statanic looking face. This is *the* most evil, dark, disturbing image and sound you or anyone on this planet will *EVER* see. I assure you, this film sets precedents that will never be bettered. I'm surprised that this film did'nt win an Oscar, well actually I'm not surprised, because this film is far greater than the trash that has fouled such a impressive awards ceremony.
You must buy this film.