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The Haunting (1999)

Liam Neeson , Catherine Zeta-Jones , Jan de Bont  |  PG-13 |  DVD
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (448 customer reviews)

Price: $29.95
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Product Details

  • Actors: Liam Neeson, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Owen Wilson, Lili Taylor, Bruce Dern
  • Directors: Jan de Bont
  • Writers: David Self, Shirley Jackson
  • Producers: Jan de Bont, Colin Wilson, Donna Roth, Marty P. Ewing, Samuel Z. Arkoff
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, DTS Surround Sound, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), English (DTS 5.1)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Dreamworks Video
  • DVD Release Date: August 29, 2000
  • Run Time: 113 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (448 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0783246692
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #202,025 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Haunting" on IMDb

Special Features

  • "Making of" documentary
  • Audio Commentary by Director Jan De Bont and production designer Eugenio Zanetti
  • Deleted Footage

Editorial Reviews

The Haunting

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Be haunted or be entertained! January 17, 2005
By Everett
Either way you're having a good time watching this movie. I was more entertained than haunted watching this movie, which is hard to do either way. Two simple facts that know you're making a right choice for this movie. #1: the acting is good, and in this movie, it has highly underrated stars such as Lili Taylor, and Catherine Zeta-Jones. #2: The plot makes sense, and entertains. It may seem like a bad choice at first, but once you watch it a second time, it really kicks in on your entertainment ratings.

Nell Vance (Lili Taylor) is a fairly simple woman neglected by her family, after her mother dies. When she has no where to go, she takes a roll in an experiment that Dr. Marrow (Liam Neeson) is doing for people with Insomnia, but it pays really good money. Taking a job where all you have to do is don't sleep; sounds pretty simple right? Something seems strange, yet interesting about the location where the experiment is being held, at the Hill House. Though it's strange that someone would abandon such a neat place, weird things seem to go on as the occupants get used to it. Theo (Catherine Zeta-Jones), and Nell hear rigorous banging sounds in their rooms through the night. Things get cold with an explanation, and out of no where, the Harpsichord tightens a string by itself, and snaps nearly cutting Dr. Marrows assisstants eye. What's even worse is that something is coming after Nell. She can hear voices in her room, but what are they trying to tell her? Maybe she got more of a job then she bargained for.

The acting in this movie was great, epecially by Lili Taylor. She was just great. She gives a kind of uneasy feeling about the house the way she potrayed her part as Nell. Catherine Zeta-Jones as Theo too.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Oh Please Mary... I've been to scarier bars December 6, 1999
When I saw the 1963 version of the Haunting, I was 24 and could not sleep well for 3 weeks afterwards. I am now 28, and saw the new version lately, and could not sleep well afterwards. Not because it was scary, but because this is what modern filmmaking has amounted to.
The original is scary, not just because it works more with suggestion and is in black and white, but because we truly feel that the four people in Hill House truly are there..all the the dark. And it rewards you in the end with a quick flash of (something!) that makes you jump out of your seat.
In this 1999 version, the house is full of eyepopping color, fun house like rooms, and four blithering idiots inside. (If Lili Taylor, whom I usually adore, said one more time that Hugh Crain built this beautiful Hill House for the children to enjoy, I was going to reach into the TV and spook her myself.)
The saving grace of the film are the sets. wonderfully elaborate (until the house grows eyes and growls with the ferocity of a Hanna Barbera cartoon. Also, try not to laugh when the wooden cherubs contort their mouths into round "O"s and say, "NOOO! " You'll be reminded of Mr Bill from Saturday Night Live.) I am biased of course, and watched this movie rather mournfully, getting wistful whilst thinkinng of Julie Harris and Claire Bloom. I was not against the idea of a remake in the least... this has always been a favorite tale of mine since I read Shirley Jackson's novel. I just wish they'd relied more on the psychological scares, than the cartoonish ones.
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27 of 34 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Succeeds at a Ghost Story, Fails at Horror November 26, 1999
When I saw the trailer for The Haunting, I was expecting the film to be a "thrill-a-minute scarefest." When I went to see it, I left the theater feeling pretty disappointed in not feeling scared (in fact, I walked right over and saw Blair Witch for a 2nd time.) Now that The Haunting is on video (DVD specifically,) I wanted to give it another chance. After a 2nd viewing, I felt it was a good "old fashion" ghost story, but it still failed at being scary. This movie is Lili Taylor's movie. Her portrayal of a sweet, hopeless romantic is very convincing. Everyone else in the cast is along for the ride. Owen Wilson has to be one of the worst actors around. I would cringe everytime he was on screen. The story about the hill house was good, if not a little vague at times. There are many good scenes that are slightly scary, but none of it is terrifying. Even though her acting was solid, where was a scene where Lili Taylor was smelling something that was pretty laughable. The good: special effects, sound effects, story, Lili Taylor (most of the time.) The bad: most of the acting, some horrible dialogue. All in all, I can recommend this film because it is fun, has very little graphic violence and next to no profanity. I give the Haunting a B-.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Halfway decent beginning destroyed by terrible ending. January 4, 2000
The beginning was pretty decent, more or less following the story of Shirley Jackson's novel, although the attempt at updating the character's motives for being in the house was ludicrous. Gone from this film was the subtlety of the original. When reading the book or watching the original movie, the audience (or reader) is left wondering whether the story is about a woman going insane or a haunted house claiming a soul. This movie, with admittedly great effects by Phil Tippett, leaves no doubt. There are ghosts in that place, as loud & obvious as the ghosts in the far superior Poltergeist. The house was no longer built with the angles ever so slightly off, but instead merely slapped togather haphazardly. Gone also is the rivalry between the two female leads, and the creepiest part in the book and the original movie is reduced to a single absurd line in this film ("who was holding my hand?"). There is one genuinely scary part of the movie-- when, during some mysterious banging, Lilli Taylor wakes up and addresses her dead mother (who, while ill, would call to Lilli by banging on the wall.) It was the one moment which stuck in the imagination. Jan deBont should stick to movies with big guns, that is if he is ever allowed to make another movie. Catherine Zeta-Jones was great to look at & did a whole lot with very, very little. Liam Neeson had no need to care about his performance; he was in Star Wars: Episode I-The Phantom Menace. Lili Taylor, always impressive in independant movies, still proves herself capable & deserving of better material than this (although considering the literary source, she was well-cast.) Owen Wilson was likewise competent. But unfortuneately, this movie proves that good acting & good special effects can't make up for a shoddy script, and a director who just can't do subtlety.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars It's THRILLING
I thought this was an awesome movie ,I think you should you out and get it right away,You don't know what you are missing
Published 18 hours ago by Diana Ditzian
5.0 out of 5 stars The Haunting
Loved this movie, it really is intriguing
Published 1 day ago by GRANNY
5.0 out of 5 stars I love this movie!
I've loved this movie since it first came out! If I had time I would watch it over and over!
Published 21 days ago by Eric M Byrd
4.0 out of 5 stars Just as expected, delivered as promises.
Just as expected, delivered as promises.
Published 21 days ago by Cougars
1.0 out of 5 stars Terrible Remake.Just skip it for the original.
Unlike the original this remake is a disaster.

My brother loved though. If Hollywood depended
on him to stay in business and no one else,they'd
still be... Read more
Published 25 days ago by Anne Elliot
5.0 out of 5 stars awesome
a great movie i got the vhs now is trying to get the dvd a great movie well acted and everything
Published 1 month ago by Kristin Teeter
2.0 out of 5 stars Could have been great. Isn't. READ THE NOVEL if you want to be scared!
I adore Liam Neeson, but when a movie is a dud, it's a dud. The thing that makes Jackson's "The Haunting of Hill House" so spectacular is the PSYCHOLOGICAL scares. Read more
Published 1 month ago by KMR
5.0 out of 5 stars sweet
good deal i love the pirce and it works good to im verry happy whit it ok ill tell all my friends to ok
Published 2 months ago by tom
1.0 out of 5 stars See the original!
Check out the Robert Wise classic and don't waste your time on this one. This remake is beyond dreadful while the original is truly scary and well acted and just all around a... Read more
Published 3 months ago by LSRufus
5.0 out of 5 stars The Haunting
We got the DVD which plays good, thanks! It is Scary movie but we still want to watch it. Have a nice weekend 2!
Published 4 months ago by Mai P. Pham
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