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The Haunting [DVD] 
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Classic haunted house horror, directed by Robert Wise and starring Claire Bloom and Julie Harris. An anthropologist foolishly starts to investigate a haunted house and gets sucked into the terrifying world of the paranormal.
Made in 1963 The Haunting is one of the best-ever movie ghost stories and was adapted from Shirley Jackson's novel The Haunting of Hill House. Suave ghost-hunter Richard Johnson takes a couple of psychic women--neurotic spinster Julie Harris and elegant lesbian Claire Bloom--to stay in Hill House, which has unsettling architecture (the spiral staircase is especially unnerving) and a bad reputation. Russ Tamblyn is along as a jive-talking sceptic, but he soon shuts up as the eerie phenomena mount up. The scene with a breathing door is a wonderful terror highlight, and the business about whose hand Harris is holding in the dark (she thinks it's Bloom, but Bloom is on the other side of the room) provides a moment of unmatched creepiness. Perhaps director Robert Wise allows too much psychology into the picture, letting you off the hook with the possibility that the twitchy Harris is behind all the spookery, but he fills the widescreen frame with really scary stuff and the cast are perfect. Lois Maxwell, of Miss Moneypenny fame, makes a marvellously chilling sudden appearance from the dark. Forget the remake, this is the real deal.
On the DVD: The Haunting comes to DVD with a trailer narrated in character by Johnson, a satisfyingly packed file of stills and an interesting commentary featuring input recorded separately from Wise, screenwriter Nelson Gidding and all four principal cast members. --Kim NewmanSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
It's also deliberately shot in black and white too.... The perfect medium for some people like me ... But not others!
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".Read more ›
I have always held true, it is not what you see on screen, it is what you do not see, that generates the shocks. This technique is put to excellent use in The Haunting of Hill House, to give it its original title. The unseen menace that haunts this Gothic mansion, is atmospherically played out with minimum effects, other than sound and lighting used to perfection.
The mental state of Eleanor, played quite brilliantly by Julie Harris, is laid bare and brought it to question quite early in the movie and escalates in to full blown hysteria toward the end. What starts as a paranormal investigation, soon spirals into terror for Eleanor, as she is singled out by the entity, who is hell bent on claiming her soul.
A great movie and well worth the meagre asking price.
The commentary is well worth a listen, particularly for the thoughts and anecdotes of Richard Johnson, who plays Dr Markway, (apparently considered for the part of the first James Bond!) and the insights into Julie Harris' state of mind and relationship with the rest of the cast during the making of the film. Presently being sold for £2.79 on Amazon, you just can't go wrong. An absolute classic.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A great movie, miles better than the remake and Clare Bloom is so hot!!!Published 3 months ago by E C LANE
The original haunting, the imagination is the scariest place to hide.Published 5 months ago by Richard J
I bought this as a Christmas present for my niece and she was thrilled. It is one of my family's all time favourite ghost films. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Jessie Lansdel
A classic. Probably the most perfect ghost story, this is an excellent interpretation.
Atmospheric cinematography and superb acting. Read more