In an old New England house believed to be haunted, an ESP researcher enlists the help of two mediums to join the skeptical owner in the hopes they can learn more about the source of the house's evil reputation. From the moment they walk through the door, things take a turn for the worse. Make sure your seat is comfortable because you'll be spending most of this nail-biting movie seated on its edge. Starring Emmy and Tony-winner Julie Harris (TV's "Knots Landing," "Gorillas in the Mist"), Claire Bloom ("Crimes and Misdemeanors") and Oscar-nominee Russ Tamblyn ("Seven Brides for Seven Brothers," "Peyton Place"). Directed by Academy Award-winner Robert Wise ("The Sound of Music," "West Side Story," "Star Trek - The Motion Picture"). Leonard Maltin gives it 3 1/2 stars and warns, "Don't see this one alone!"]]>
The Haunting [Blu-ray]
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Top Customer Reviews
The great Robert Wise sets up the most perfect, most classic haunted-house film ever made. The screenplay is built on the principle that you don't have to see it (the gore, the blood, etc.) to feel the fear. So, this is one of those great films where the tension is constructed upon the things you hear... the things you know are there.
In the pre-CGI era, you really had to create something out of what you had. So, Mr. Wise had a great script (years ahead of its time), great characters, great actors, a great cameraman, and settings that are a wow!
This is what makes this film so much better than any other (not to mention its remake - who clearly goes for the predictable cheap-trick CGI effects).
The story is told in the most perfect classic form. From beginning to end, you follow the story in the most careful pace. Beat by beat. From the prologue to the conclusion, the story is peerlessly told.
The characters and actors are great to watch: Julie Harris is the perfect troubled woman haunted by inner ghosts, while Theodora (the beautiful Claire Bloom) is the perfect icy clairvoyant who may or may not be a lesbian (everything is constructed with such taste...). Richard Johnson is great as the Doctor who must keep control of the experiment. Russ Tamblyn is also great as the non-believer who's in just for the adventure. As we will discover, all of them have weak points the house will explore. So it is possible to say that this is one film where the set (in this case the house itself) is one character just like the others.
The house has personality.Read more ›
The Haunting is a rather faithful adaptation of Jackson's dark and spooky novel. The key word being spooky - not gory. If you are looking for buckets of blood, search on. This is a sophisticated movie that chills rather than shocks. Staring the gorgeous Richard Johnson as Dr. John Markway, a man determined to prove ghosts do exist. And since he believes he will find them at Hill House, he arranges with the current owner to rent the house to carry out his research - though part of the pact is he must accept her grandson Luke Sanderson (Russ Tamblin) to keep an eye on things.
Markway invites a wide range of people to come and take part, people with a past that showed their lives were brushed by the paranormal. However, only two come: Theodora, a clairvoyant with vague lesbian hints played by Claire Bloom, and Eleanor Lance brought to aching life by the brilliant Julie Harris.
Eleanor is a timid woman, browbeaten her whole life. She spent her youth tending her ailing mother and is now forced to live with her sister and her family.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A staggeringly well made horror film. Even by today's standards it carries the weight of suspense and terror with simple design, gorgeous lighting and a lot of beautifully implied... Read morePublished 28 days ago by Tom Gordon
still holds its own, especially when seen alone, at night, in the dark.Published 1 month ago by sandra
Great movie, much better than the remake, although that was pretty good too.Published 1 month ago by Anita Knox
A wonderful take on a truly great movie. Shirley Jackson knew how to write a story that kept you on the edge of your seat. No sex. No violence. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
I liked the substance of this movie when I first saw it on TV. I got the DVD because the sound track on the TV version was poor. Unfortunately the DVD had much the same fault. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Galen Halimar