8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Oh Please Mary... I've been to scarier bars,
This review is from: The Haunting (DVD)
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 alone...in the night...in 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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Initial post: Sep 3, 2008 1:44:09 AM PDT
Why, why, why was the outstanding 1963 original remade at all? An object lesson from Shakespeare: "...full of sound and fury, signifying nothing...". Robert Wise's film is still one of the best, scariest, intelligent "Haunted House" films ever made! Chuck this one, and visit the Real "Hill House"!
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