7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
As Subtle as a Really Big Stone Sculpture,
This review is from: The Haunting (DVD)
This will be referred to as a classic horror in the years ahead....a classic horrible example of how Hollywood money can destroy a really good story-line. The plot, what there is of it, bears no resemblance to Shirley Jackson's psychological horror story. It's scraps of plots which make no sense, and dead-ends. There's lots of CGI and special effects, which no doubt were supposed to make up for the missing story. They don't. Nothing here is scary, unless you find the thought of dusting hilariously ugly wooden cherubs frightening.
The sets for the house were the best part, being completely bizarre and unreal and therefore worth seeing. Liam Neeson looks like he was blackmailed into taking the part, and Owen Wilson, with a fixed smirk rather like the afore-mentioned wooden cherubs, acts like he's in a comedy from the get-go. The women, Lili Taylor and Catherine Zeta-Jones, manage a little better considering the material they're given. Zeta-Jones certainly looks good, colorfully tarty and all that, but isn't given anything to do except wander around looking colorfully tarty. Bruce Dern and Marian Seldes look like they're having fun hamming it up in their roles as the caretakers, but they 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.