The Haunting
(formerly The Haunting of Hill House)

There were a lot of things that were great about "The Haunting" and there were some moments that really made me groan. After it was over a few people clapped which is a somewhat rare show of emotion for a movie these days. Lili was great of course. She was funny and touching and played off the other actors in ways that made them greater than the sum of their parts. The movie had two problems as I saw it. A weak story and a lack of subtlety caused by the directors inability to trust his audience. I haven't read the original "Haunting of Hill House" book but it seemed to me that the screenwriter took at the story with a can opener and a hammer. Many elements feel tacked on and extraneous. The lack of subtlety comes in mainly with the special effects. Everything had to be completely spelled out. Bloody footprints had to be splashed all over the floor. Child ghosts had to be obvious and melodramatic. All these things could have been hinted at but instead they were thrown in our faces and instead of thinking "ooh that was a spooky ghost" we think "what cool special effects." Besides Lili the sets were what really made this film worth it for me though. I can't think of another film that even comes close in that regard. Roger Ebert said that Hill House was "one of the most striking spaces I've ever seen on film." All in all a flawed masterpiece.

Favorite scene: Just seeing Lili walk through the house and watching the look in her eyes.

The original trailer.
The second trailer.
Both of these are in Real Video format.
Big thanks to Eon Magazine for supplying them.

The Haunting on IMDB
The Official Movie Site has made an appearance.
Check out 'DreamWorks Fansite-The Haunting'. Some very nice graphics!
Haunting of Hill House Info on Cinescape.
Buy the Book on Amazon.
Holding Darkness Within a site dedicated to Hill House news.
Haunting of Hill House Info on Upcoming Movies.
The original The Haunting on IMDB
Haunting of Hill House Article on "Ain't It Cool News".

Review by Roger Ebert
Review of The Haunting in Salon.

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