The Haunting Movie Review

by Bernhard Marshall - April 5, 2004

the haunting posterI chose to make a review on "The Haunting", not because it's a horror movie (though this is supposed to be a remake of a 1960s horror movie of the same name), but because of its supernatural focus and its fantastic art direction and effects.

The House...

This movie was made in 1999, and directed by Jan de Bont, the same guy who directed some action movies like "Speed" and "Twister". It seems to be inspired in classical horror movies like "The Exorcist", but I consider it an adventure that hardly would frighten children.

"The Haunting" starts when the psychiatrist Dr. Jeffrey Marrow (Liam Neeson), invites 3 of his patients who suffer from chronic insomnia to take part in a study of the dynamics of fear, but he alleged that it was to study their disorder.

The 3 "guinea pigs" are Eleanor Lance (Lily Taylor), Theodora (Catherine Zeta-Jones) and Luke Sannerson (Owen Wilson). Each of them has a totally different personality, which most of the times shows no place in the movie's context.

For example, Theodora is a bisexual, who gets interested in Eleanor, but nothing comes from that and this information seems to be lost in the plot. Luke is the dull joker, who makes no sense either, the Dr. appears only a few times and makes not much difference in the story, and Eleanor is the only best structured character in the it.

Now on to the fun part...

The special effects are amazing and the house is one of those gothic wonders so filled with details that one could spent an entire year analysing the decoration and even so, find new details after that.
the haunting main room
The house, which is more of a half-Victorian, half-Elizabethan manor is huge and the corridors are almost endless. There are gargoyle statues all around who seem to be alive (and end up really moving), a startling portrait of the man who build it, Hugh Crane, at the top of the main staircase, etc. It's the evil version of the Hogwarts castle.

Soon enough, Eleanor starts to talk with the children ghosts who try to get her attention. They tell her that they had been murdered and that the ghost of the evil man who build the house is keeping them from going to the overworld and that she's the only one who can set them free.

She finds out that she's related to the evil man's wife and decides that her life mission is to save those children ghosts.

In the end only two will get out alive from the house, but the evil that resided inside of it is destroyed.

Next month's subject is about a great master of (true) horror movies and his most famous character. Until then...

For more information

The Haunting: Us.

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Copyright 2004 Bernhard Marshall

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