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4.0 out of 5 stars Great film
I saw this film years ago and am very pleased that I now own it on dvd, it still has the scare factor I remembered - worth a watch if you like scary films.
Published 2 months ago by Suzy Q

versus
13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A remake that has the cgi as the star
If you saw the original, beware... The plot bears no resemblance to Shirley Jackson's psychological horror story. The sub-plots make no sense and dead-ends. There's lots of CGI and special effects, which are well done and are the star of the movie.

The sets for the house were the best part and are worth seeing. Liam Neeson must be sorry he made this film, and...
Published on 5 Oct 2007 by M. A. Ramos


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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A remake that has the cgi as the star, 5 Oct 2007
By 
M. A. Ramos (Florida USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
If you saw the original, beware... The plot bears no resemblance to Shirley Jackson's psychological horror story. The sub-plots make no sense and dead-ends. There's lots of CGI and special effects, which are well done and are the star of the movie.

The sets for the house were the best part and are worth seeing. Liam Neeson must be sorry he made this film, and Owen Wilson, seems to be the comic relief, Zeta-Jones certainly looks good but isn't given anything to do except wander around looking colorfully tarty. Bruce Dern and Marian Seldes were probably just happy they had such small parts. This doesn't make it as a "good" bad movie, and it wouldn't really worth the trouble hating, except that it butchered a book that was both scary and intelligent.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars So so, 30 Jun 2002
By A Customer
The build-up was good, with all the guests arriving, the actresses were interesting, Catherine Zeta-Jones stunning...
Quite scary bedroom scenes. Worth seeing if you are passionate about ghosts.
But at the end the special effects of the children ghosts are just ridiculous, I was so angry at the silliness of the images.
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12 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Lacking in subtlety, 3 Dec 2000
By 
Mr. S. Carlin "arca20" (England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Haunting, The [DVD] [1999] (DVD)
I must begin by saying that I saw the original years before I saw this version so its hard not to make comparisons.
The first thing in the film's favour is that it takes what was a scary story anyway and tells it quite well. Secondly, there are a few spine chilling moments in the film - all borrowed from the 1963 film.
Unfortunately all this is undone by unsubtle effects and horror moments. I came away with the impression that Jan de Bont felt that the audience would be unsatisfied if they didn't see anything so threw in an effects driven finale...which spoils the ethos of the film.
Lines have been added to the story which are tainted with the usual Hollywood belief that audiences are esseentially stupid and points have to be reinforced.
The cast manage to make a good job of the material but at the end of the day Jan de Bont should not have been let near this. Its interesting to note in the accompanying featurette that the producers felt that the things you imagine can be much more powerful than what you see. I can only presume that this was why they wanted to make the film but somewhere along the line this idea was subverted.
In recent years, ghost story films have all been given "happier" endings, aiming for a redemption concept that tends to undermine the power of the story. This is no exception.
On a plus side, the transfer is excellent - the picture quality is clear and sharp. The sound is excellent even if some of the effects lack subtlety. The features are rather sparse comprising a short documentary and two trailers.
My advice - track down the 1963 original, expertly directed by Robert Wise. It is far superior. The 1999 remake is entertaining and has a few spooky moments but is disappointing overall.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great film, 28 Sep 2014
By 
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This review is from: Haunting, The [DVD] [1999] (DVD)
I saw this film years ago and am very pleased that I now own it on dvd, it still has the scare factor I remembered - worth a watch if you like scary films.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars do not be fooled..., 17 May 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: The Haunting [1999] (VHS Tape)
When i watched this film a while ago, i thought that if a production crew decide to remake a classic horror film, they could at least do it some justice, the poor quality acting and ridiculous effects are a real let down. I really would strongly recommend the original as apposed to this one, it was not scary and does not deserve a 12 rating.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not very scary but a good film all the same, 4 Jan 2004
This review is from: Haunting, The [DVD] [1999] (DVD)
Overall i thought that this film was pretty good and i was very suprised to see so many bad reviews on it. I am not really a great fan of horror movies so therefore it may have seemed scarier to me than someone who watches say 'The Exorcist' or 'Scream' every weekend. But even so, it's still a good movie even if you didn't find it scary. I was actually quite suprised to see that this film was in fact a 12 rated,because i thought that it was in fact quite scary in places, or maybe i'm just a complete wimp, i don't know.
When i group of people are invited to stay at Hill House as 'Guinea Pigs' for a doctor who is supposedly researching sleep. However when the they start to hear noses at night and cries of children the group realise that it may have somthing to do with why no one, not even the caretaker, stays in the house at night.
The special effects in this film i thought were pretty good, and although the ghosts seemed pretty boring and didn't do much but i guess it's better that they are restrained in some way, i.e the whole house is not full of ghosts flying about all over the place. Overall the acting is excellent especially from Catherine Zeta Jones who plays the dominant Theo, and Lili Taylor who plays the fragile Nel.
The beginning of this movie is great as all the different people in the group arrive one by one and meet the scary housekeeper.
I was a little dissapointed with the ending of the movie though, and i think a short aftermath might have been appropriate, just to round off the whole story.
Unfortunately i have not read the book so a can't say how well this has been adapted but what i can say is that this is a really great movie, and while it may not be that scary, it's still very entertaining and will appeal to a wider audience because it concentrates more on the emotional side of a horror movie, instead of people just being frightened out of their wits. If you are fan of horror then this is a must see, or if you just want a great movie to entertain you for a few hours, then i recommend this.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Jan de Bont + The Haunting = Miss, 1 Sep 2009
By 
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This review is from: Haunting, The [DVD] [1999] (DVD)
First off, this movie looks great.

The design of the house, and the location shooting are absolutely gorgeous.
Liam Neeson leads the cast with his usual quiet grace, but occasionally looks a little uncomfortable with the script.
Owen Wilson is his usual self, annoying but funny.
Catherine Zeta-Jones puts in a surprisingly good effort, If trying too hard to be too American some of the time.

Lili Taylor works the hardest, and for the most part she pulls off the part of 'mother-pecked' spinster, desperate to shake away her old life. But compared to the same part played to absolute perfection by Julie Harris in the original, it just falls short! The script however, was to blame for Miss Taylor's character being weaker than it should have been!

The fault of all this lies firmly with the director, Jan De Bont!

As an action movie director, 'De Bont' has a fantastic eye!
But anything to do with quality acting and subtlety; He has no idea at all!
This film is at it's best when being quiet and subtle, unfortunately this is hardly ever.

In 1999, the state of computer graphics was still advancing, but compared to what was achieved back in 1993 with Jurassic Park, most of the 'CGI' here looks hokey and unrealistic. The fault of the director again, for over-use!

With absolutely everything needing a light touch... It is just slapped on screen by the bucket-load. "Less is more" anyone?

In the hands of a masterful director, this could have been a superb remake, but with no reserve from this director it misses almost every mark.

A good popcorn movie though!
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12 of 18 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars scooby-do is scarier, 29 Dec 2003
By 
C. Marshall "clmrshll" (N England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Haunting, The [DVD] [1999] (DVD)
If Robert Wise were alive today, he would turn in his grave! I too am jaded, having been terrified by the '63 version(The face in the wallpaper - brrrr) and very recently the book. I can forgive the references to teletubbies, but the bloody footprints, secret passages, and magic mirror are just too much.
Sadly this film gives away all its secrets in one blurb. In the book I did not know the real truth until the last chapter. In this one very large hints seem to be dropped at regular intervals as to the (super)nature of things. The screenplay seems to have been subordinated to the special effects crew. Did not the directors realise that the things we cant see but are hinted at are the scariest. Fear comes though imagination. In this film you don't need one!
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A hamfisted travesty., 24 April 2002
This review is from: Haunting, The [DVD] [1999] (DVD)
Possibly one of the worst horror films of recent years - De Bont and co. manage to make a complete mess of what was one of the most effective haunted house stories ever written. Over wrought special effects, ridiculous plot twists, and a particularly silly decapitation (not in the original,I must hasten to add)mean that a potentially fine cast is completely wasted. One can only hope that the late, great Shirley Jackson exacts some sort of dire supennatural revenge upon the perpetrators of this abmomination - a revenge much more chilling than this incompetent mess. Read the book instead - or see the far superior black and white version.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 2 Oct 2014
By 
Robert Allen (Bristol, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Haunting, The [DVD] [1999] (DVD)
I enjoyed it. Not as good as original black & white, but not a bad film
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