Reviews

The Haunting

5

Dapper ghost-hunter Dr Markway (Richard Johnson) invites neurotic spinster Nell (Julie Harris) and vampy psychic Theo (Claire Bloom) to help him investigate the notorious Hill House. Is it haunted? Sceptic Luke (Russ Tamblyn) doesn't reckon so, but soon shuts his fat mouth when the walls start howling...

Forget Jan De Bont's risible effort: this original adap of Shirley Jackson's The Haunting Of Hill House is a mercurially malicious exercise in creak and menace. Director Robert Wise shrewdly keeps the scares crouching right around the next corner, spilling Nell's shadows of the mind across the mansion's gothic labyrinth. Skewed camera angles and unsettling noises ice the atmosphere, building tension ready for the big scares - breathing doors and "whose hand was that?" spine-shivers - to hit where it hurts. What you can't see, can't hurt you - but it sure can make your trousers smell funny.

Film Details

  • tbc
  • UK Theatrical Release Date: October 1st 2003

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