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84 Reviews
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Template for the Modern Horror Movie
Although dated in may ways this offering from Robert Wise is a perfectly constructed gothic horror movie. Making allowances for the lack of modern special effects the film is an early take on the idea of the haunted house as a character in the story. Wise and writer Gidding base the story around the interaction of the four main characters and the horror is very much about...
Published on 29 Dec. 2010 by Mr Lumpy

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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Entertainment
Julie Harris is so highly strung in this film that you can almost hear her twang. Clare Bloom, calm and lovely as ever, is the perfect foil for this. Richard Johnson and Rosalie Crutchley are excellent in support. Russ Tamblyn disappoints.

If you have ever experienced a real cold spot, then the scene outside the nursery door will make your hackles rise...
Published on 7 Jun. 2011 by vbprogman


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3 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A tad over-rated ....., 30 Oct. 2011
By 
Keith D. Stoddart (edinburgh,scotland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Haunting [DVD] [1963] (DVD)
Had a vague idea that I had seen this years ago and enjoyed it so bought for the kids' halloween sleepover . Never quite gets going IMO and some of the acting is hammy to say the least but quite interesting without being the classic that some seem eager to classify it as .
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2 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the haunting 1963, 17 May 2007
This review is from: The Haunting [DVD] [1963] (DVD)
i first seen this movie when i was five years old. and even now at 49 years old, it still gives me the creeps as much now as it did back then. the remake hasn't got a thing on the original. i still think that julie harris is a doll.
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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a truly terrorfing haunt of a film!, 23 Nov. 2004
This review is from: The Haunting [DVD] [1963] (DVD)
This film has shirly jacksons classical origonal haunted house tale, with the talent of Robert Wises ingenius film making! An incomparable classic of raw horror! With an imense cast a magnifecent story, and black and white colour to keep the suspenseand tension to the maximum i garantee this will freeze yourblood and have you quivering to the chilling and haunting climax! and every last ice cold moment of terror!
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9 of 25 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars dated and not scary @all, 17 Feb. 2005
This review is from: The Haunting [DVD] [1963] (DVD)
again i had high hopes for this little tale. the plot's alredy been explained, but i found this film a predictable hotspotch of the usual stereotypical shenaningens that is forever going on in haunted houses these days. Of course there were the strange noises in the night, and the pre requisite motley crew of charachters, and an underlying plot, that was the reason for the haunted house in the first place. Still I felt held at arms length as I watched, and really unable to get deeply involved with the film, which is essential in a film like this if the spookyness, and scares are going to work. To me they didn't and when it was over, i categorised this film as an average piece from more endearing times,that really belongs collecting dust on a shelf somewhere. Quite bland really.
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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good 'ole-fashioned spookiness, 20 Nov. 2009
By 
M. Harrison "mabh" (London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Haunting [DVD] [1963] (DVD)
Made in 1963, this is a classic. Beautifully lit and strong performances. No guts and gore - just good old-fashioned story-telling building to a climax.
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2 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I go home before it gets dark................., 24 Mar. 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: The Haunting [DVD] [1963] (DVD)
My only complaint about The Haunting is that I can't seem to stay awake to watch it when I'm tired or sleepy. Otherwise, it is the very finest ghost story you will ever see. I personally prefer Shirley Jackson's excellent book The Haunting Of Hill House to either film version, as it goes into much more detail. The remake isn't at all as bad as the critics say and has some new twists to offer in the story. But, the original still stands as the definitive ghost story. It takes quite awhile for the story to really get going and there is a lot of talk and very little action for most of the film's running time. But, there is at least one scene that will leave you wondering as you lie in your bed in a dark room if you are really alone. Who could ever forget Mrs. Dudley's sinister little smile when she says "There won't be anyone to help if you call out in the night". Brrrrr.......... Just turn down the lights, get someone you trust to hold onto and make sure you are wide awake!!
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13 of 42 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as the reviews state, 24 Mar. 2005
This review is from: The Haunting [DVD] [1963] (DVD)
After I read the online reviews I was expecting something exceptional. Instead I sat through two hours of the unexceptional. The film is a product of it's age. Yes, there are some good pieces of cinematography but they are far and few between. You have to wait an awfully long time to even get to the first good set piece. The acting is good but there is far too much talk - the lead character explaining EVERYTHING for 'the audiences' benefit! There is little of any genuine moments of 'horror' and nothing of any real moments of 'tension'. I was very disapointed and wondered if I had been watching the same film that the other Amazon reviewer's had awarded 5 stars for. Also, I found the sound output on the DVD to be very low (and it's in mono).
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0 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Slightly Unsatisfying, 25 Mar. 2013
By 
William Cohen (London) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Haunting [DVD] [1963] (DVD)
I can see if you make Eleanor the the central character, the structure of the film works, but I didn't see her as the main focus throughout. This meant the end was rather abrupt and disappointing. There's some brilliant acting, and a few scary bits, but I'm not sure if it merits wiping off the dust of 50 years. Claire Bloom is striking in her lesbian part, and you get a whiff of the 60s about to kick off from her.
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2 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars One good scare and that is it, 5 Oct. 2013
By 
Having been informed that `The Haunting' of 1963 vintage is the scariest film ever made, I handed over a princely sum of money. I wasn't overly impressed. Here are my reasons.

I have no problems whatsoever with the four main actors who give of their best. That being said, Russ Tamblyn's character of Luke does little to advance the narrative (even his wisecracks are perfunctory). He could have been removed from the screenplay with little detriment.

While I can appreciate logically why Robert Wise allocates so much time to the background of Julie Harris' character of Eleanor, it's still a drag on proceedings.

Markaway evidently chose his squad on the basis of their psychic powers. If so, they're rarely evidenced in the narrative. So Theo feels cold on occasions: big deal. There is little sense that a crack-team has been transported to the house with the intention of base-lining its spectral activity. For much of the daytime, they sit around and drink tea.

The arrival of Dr Markway's wife is both corny and superfluous. In the very least, she should have cracked the poos that the good professor has shacked up with two buxom wenches. When she's finally located after her disappearance, it looks like a make-up artist has applied some powder to her cheeks and nothing more: such is the depth of her trauma. Eliminate her. Spend more time exploring the house.

So Hugh Crain commissioned a statue of himself and his family that resembles the Farnese Bull in Naples? Please. A portrait or two on the wall would have been more idiomatic - without the rotating eyes !!!!!

It was a nice touch to have one of the ghosts hold Eleanor's hand in the dark - but it was telegraphed thrice beforehand and little was made of it afterwards.

Indubitably, the Haunting's claim to fame resides in the scene where the quartet are terrorised by the presence on the other side of the door - and unlike so many Hollywood horrors, it's genuinely dark at the time. It will freeze your blood. Strange to say, this is the second occurrence of such an encounter: Eleanor and Theo have already been similarly terrorised in the latter's bedroom. Are the spooks of Hill House that constrained in their armoury? The prior occurrence is a spoiler.

So who is the ghost? Hugh Crain's statue is mocked by Theo and Eleanor (sadly, not on aesthetic grounds). Is he the lead-footed leviathan, bent on retribution, who wanders around at night? We are never told. Subtlety is one thing - nothingness is another.

So Hill House was "born evil". That implies it is a living entity. All well and good, but mere lip-service is paid to the concept. For instance, Eleanor repeatedly stares at the tower. There should have been a response in kind. Moreover, its interior is too well kept for such a vast edifice with a solitary maid on the payroll. More of the fixtures should have been veiled by sheets or been decrepit.

The staircase in the study was never going to topple over. The entire scene is laboured.

Eleanor's death ride brings to mind the Snails' Grand Prix. Terrifying and convincing it ain't.

Don't purchase this movie. Sure, it's more intense than the 1999 remake - that ain't hard given how woeful the latter is. My twelve year old son sat through this it without blinking an eye or high-tailing it to the fridge (on the pretence of hunger). YouTube contains the great scene in its entirety. Ignore the hype: make do with that.
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0 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The passage of time..., 10 July 2014
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This review is from: The Haunting [DVD] [1963] (DVD)
This frightened me witless when I was ten or so. Thirty years later I find it unwatchable. But Claire Bloom is as attractive as anyone ever needs to be.
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Haunting [Blu-ray] [1963] [US Import]
Haunting [Blu-ray] [1963] [US Import] by Richard Johnson (Blu-ray - 2013)
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