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The Haunting

3.2 out of 5 stars 524 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

The Haunting

Special Features

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

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
    Parents Strongly Cautioned
  • Studio: Dreamworks Video
  • DVD Release Date: August 29, 2000
  • Run Time: 113 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (524 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0783246692
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #140,851 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Haunting" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
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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Format: DVD
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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By A Customer on November 15, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
Man I really liked this movie mainly because of the set designand the big budget special effects. It is based on the Shirley jacksonnovel which i am in the process of reading. I rented the original Haunting from 1963 it was ok the first hour was really good but the second hour it was kinda boring. But this came out and had to see it.
The cast is first rate including, Liam Neeson,Lilly Taylor, Owen Wilson and Cathrine Zeta-Jones. All of which do there best but really the characters are underdeveloped which is a shame because if it had a better developed characters and still the same special effects it would probably gone over with critics alot better. But what we have fills the bill but it nedds some improvments.
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Format: DVD
This is another one of these stories in which absolutely nothing can compare to the book. Shirley Jackson's "The Haunting of Hill House" is the most frightening, penetrating ghost story I've ever read. The only movie that begins to do this story justice is the original black-and-white, "The Haunting", starring Julie Harris (1963).

The newer version, which I'm reviewing here, starts off fairly well, actually. The sets are rich and nicely detailed. Catherine Zeta Jones makes a really electric, alluring Theo. Liam Neeson plays a workable Dr. Marrow (not "Dr. Marquay", as named in the 1963 movie). Owen Wilson plays his usual annoying, irritatingly contemporary persona in an obligatory way as Luke, but I've never been able to take any movie seriously that Wilson's been in, and horror stories must be taken seriously or they're undermined to begin with (he reminds me a lot of Bruce Dern, but at least Dern has a modicum of talent). I don't really remember Lili Taylor as being in much of anything before, and sometimes that works well for a movie, but not this one. The part of Eleanor Vance is that of a very complex, tortured, naive person, and it was played to perfection by Julie Harris (the '63 version), whereas I remember less about the Lili Taylor portrayal of this central character than that of any of the other actors.

For all that, the 1st half of this newer version is not bad, but the 2nd half goes downhill rapidly. And in the last 25% of the movie, the director was intent in pulling out every cliched, hackneyed special effects staple used in every movie about ghosts from "Poltergeist" to "Ghost Busters", complete with all the shape-shifting techniques we enjoyed in "Terminator II", and many episodes of "Deep Space 9".
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