The Haunting (1999) Poster

(1999)

User Reviews

Add a Review
808 ReviewsOrdered By: Helpfulness
4/10
Subtle chills....what's that???
DocHobbs21 July 1999
Well, my goodness, am I disappointed. When I first heard news of a remake of Robert Wise's 1963 film, "The Haunting", I had a fear that it would be ruined by an abundance of summer-movie sized visual effects. But, deep down, I had faith. Surely, with such a talented cast intact...De Bont and company will not ruin a film, who's original was a fantastic and frightening movie that understood the delicate art of subtlety. Well, subtlety, where are you now!!?? My fears have manifested...a promising movie has gone wrong. Yes, Eugenio Zannetti's production design is jaw-dropping; the movie is wonderfully photographed; and composer Jerry Goldsmith can never EVER do wrong. But, the script puts it's fine actors to the test..asking them to deliver the kind of stilted dialogue that is only spoken in movies. In the end, the always wonderful Lili Taylor is the only performer to escape with some dignity...and that's just barely. But, the crime of all crimes is that the horror is shown to us. We can no longer use our imaginations, feel that horrible dread of fear of the unknown. No, we get some visual effects to SHOW US what we're supposed to be afraid of...and you know what? As wonderfully realized as they are...the visual effects come off as sort of silly. And the climax is a phantasmogoric mess...but things had gone terribly wrong long before that.

Everything in The Haunting is overdone and overblown. I'm afraid there are no real thrills or creaks in this old haunted house monstrosity...only groans. Check out the original instead.
106 out of 149 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
1/10
Nothing could have saved The Haunting
Kristine24 November 2003
Warning: Spoilers
The Haunting, if you have seen the original, you know a great ghost story, it's perfection on film. It's a haunting tale of 4 people who go into a haunted house and with the simple trick of sound and movements, it terrified people. It still remains effective to this day if you appreciate film. So when The Haunting was remade in 1999, a lot of people pretty much had the same reaction "WHAT? WHY? WHAT THE…" But in my opinion if a remake is respectful enough and just wants to reinvent the story for the newer generation, I'm pretty cool with it. This is definitely not the case, this is just a disrespectful boring shame that will waste your time and I guarantee will deliver no scares… pfft! PG-13, what where they thinking? Not much apparently.

When her mother dies and her sister evicts her, Nell receives a phone call, telling her about an ad for an insomnia study run by Doctor David Marrow at Hill House, a secluded manor. Upon arrival, Nell meets Mr. and Mrs. Dudley, a strange pair of caretakers who do not stay on the property after dark. Shortly thereafter, two other participants in the study arrive, wild Theo and "bad sleeper" Luke Sanderson along with Doctor Marrow. Unknown to the participants, Doctor Marrow's true purpose is to study the psychological response to fear. Each night, the caretakers chain the gate outside Hill House, preventing anyone from getting in or out until morning, when the caretakers open the lock. There are no working telephones inside Hill House and the nearest town is several miles away. Doctor Marrow revels the story of Hill House. The house was built by Hugh Crain, Crain built the house for his wife, hoping to fill it with a large family full of children, however all of Crain's children died during birth. Crain's wife killed herself before the house was finished, and Crain became a recluse. The first night, Theo and Nell begin to experience strange phenomenon within the house, including odd noises and inexplicable temperature changes. Nell is confronted after the main hallway is vandalized with the words "Welcome Home, Eleanor", and becomes extremely distraught, setting out to prove that the house is haunted by the souls of those victimized by Crain's cruelty. She learns that Crain built his fortune by exploiting kidnapped children for slave labor and murdering them when they were of no more use to him. He then burned the bodies in the house's fireplace to hide any evidence. She also learns that Crain had a second wife named Carolyn, of whom Nell is descended. Everyone thinks she's crazy while Nell is convinced this is where she belongs.

Seriously, I suggest you stay away from this film, it's really stupid and pointless. Not to mention the actress the played Nell, Lili Taylor completely annoyed me, her performance, her look, just everything about her, don't get me started on things I would do just to not see her in film again. Catherine Zeta Jones just didn't fit in her role as well and Liam Neeson, a wonderful actor wasted talent once again. The effects are way over the top and too computerized, I just can't believe that they would trash a wonderful classic with this crud. Believe me, if you are going to be afraid of something, be afraid of seeing how you can turn a great ghost story into an annoying piece of overblown stupid…. Oh, this film is already hurting me, just don't see it, it's bad.

1/10
45 out of 63 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Surprisingly good!
Gilles-520 May 2000
I didn't have too much of a hope I would like this new Jan De Bont film, but after giving it a go today, I was impressed. De Bont is a terrific creator of suspense and camera setups. All his hard work as a cinematographer paid off in movies such as these. He really knows how to build up an atmosphere accompanied by subtle visual effects and sound design. The way that big house groans and 'breathes' just makes my heart beat faster. Equally great is Jerry Goldsmith's score. In some scenes when combined with the atmospheric sound effects it made my neckhair stand up. I was genuinely terrified. A special mention must go to the art direction and set decoration. The house has such wonderful and at the same time disturbing architecture, the thought of having to spend a night there gives me the chills. About the acting, I thought it was nothing special. The Haunting is a solely audiovisual experience, where acting is only of secondary importance. In short, I enjoyed this movie and didn't think the ending was bad. I see about 200-300 movies each year, and I see a lot of bad ones, but this is not one of them. Go see it and decide for yourself.
16 out of 20 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
A lackluster supernatural thriller.
jiangliqings18 November 2000
* and 1/2 stars out of ****

The Haunting is actually a relatively decent film for the first 45 or so minutes. The setup is promising, the production design of the mansion is a sight to behold, and the cast seems to be enjoying themselves. It's unfortunate, however, because after that the film begins to fall apart, leading all the way to the ridiculously bad finale.

Dr. David Marrow (Liam Neeson) is conducting a test on fear, using the bait-and-switch method. By doing so, he's pretending to do a study on insomnia at the Crain estate, a manor 9 miles from the closest town. The "test subjects" that arrive include Eleanor (Lili Taylor), a hard-working woman who has had little success in life, Theo (Catherine Zeta-Jones), an adventuress and proclaimed bi-sexual, and Luke (Owen Wilson), an all-around jokester.

On the first night in the mansion, Eleanor and Theo hear thundering sounds in the walls, but pass it off as a problem in the plumbing. But events get even more bizarre, as Eleanor sees some sort of a figure inside the fireplace, that just as soon disappears. Slowly, Eleanor begins to believe that there are ghosts in the house, ghosts of dead children and the owner of the mansion himself, the evil Hugh Crain. She also makes a discover about her connection with the mansion that could help free the children's spirits.

The Haunting never features one scary moment. Rather than going for subtle chills or all-out shocks like in House on Haunted Hill, Jan De Bont prefers to rely everything on the special effects, which really are rather unconvincing, particularly the statues that come to life and the CGI ghosts.

It even manages to get worse. Now, to be fair, the film was getting dull by the 90-minute mark so I was initially entertained by the effects-filled finale. But everything gets positively ridiculous in the last ten minutes, as we find out evil ghosts like to play hide-and-seek and smash things up real good.

The blame should fall on director Jan De Bont and writer David Self. De Bont seems to care more about what special effect to use next to "wow" the audience rather than actually trying anything innovative. Self really can't seem to write a good story or truly interesting characters. The dialogue is perhaps the worse of his writing skills.

The only thing that keeps this film from a lower rating is the cast, and they do their best to keep the film respectable. Liam Neeson probably delivers the best performance, being neither as dull or unemotional as critics thought. Catherine Zeta-Jones shows a lot of life as Theo, as does Owen Wilson. It's a pity that Lili Taylor's performance, which was decent at first, turned to borderline camp by the finale.

With nary a true scare in sight, The Haunting should best be seen by those who are scared easily or special effects fans. For everybody else, this is probably a house not to spend the night at.
28 out of 38 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
1/10
Pretty Darn Bad
movieman-16619 November 2002
For movie fans who have never heard of the book (Shirley Jackson's "The Haunting of Hill House") and have never seen the 1963 Robert Wise production with Julie Harris, this remake will seem pretty darn bad.

For those of us who have, it is just plain awful.

Bad acting (what was Neeson thinking?), goofy computer enhancements, and a further move away from Jackson's story doom this remake.

Do yourself a favor and rent the original movie. It still effectively scares without hokey special effects. The acting is professional and believable.

For readers of the book, the from 1963 follows the it much closer.
97 out of 166 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
5/10
Suspenseful and frightening terror movie about a haunted mansion
ma-cortes24 October 2011
It's a remake to long deemed one of the masterly crafted stories of horror ever brought to the screen ¨Haunting¨(1963) by Robert Wise , a gripping film which still packs a punch . Hill House is a hundred-year-old haunted mansion , it is the setting for chosen group . The haunted house has an evil history with tragic accidents, suicide, and human misjudgement. It seems which the scary mansion has been the place of several killing deaths . A psychologist scientist (Liam Neeson) is a Pyschic researcher who assembles a group with histories linked to the paranormal. As three people are lured to an eerie mansion deceived for fake pretenses realized by a psychological researcher . Nell (Lili Taylor) was the subject of unexplained poltergeist activities as a child. She also is riddled with pain over her mother's death. Theo (Catherine Zeta Jones) is a clairvoyant who befriends Nell at Hill House. Owen Wilson plays a cynical and Bon Vivant sent to make sure that the property is not affected by the researchers. Together the group explore Hill House and their own insecurities and finally face off the evil that inhabits with hair-raising results .

Mindless and average film is packed with thrills, intrigue, suspense, horror and lots of interminable screams with no sense. However , this is an inferior version that relies heavily on the impressive special effects courtesy of ILM - Industrial Light Magic- , George Lucas owner . High budget makes for big scary scream-feast and frights . Splendid Lili Taylor as a fragile , lovely youth who results to have unexpected ties to the creepy ghost , she's the only redeeming feature of this uneven movie. Supposedly based on Shirley Jackson's creepy tale titled ¨The haunting of Hill House¨, it has little in common with the novel . Stirring and exciting musical score fitting to terror by the veteran maestro Jerry Goldsmith . Very good and colorful cinematography by Karl Walter Lindellaub . Director Jan De Bont created a taut drama where the real question is who is haunted and who may be unstable.The picture is middling realized in his third-time as director by Jan De Bont, a successful cameraman (Basic Instict, Die Hard) and Paul Verhoveen's ordinary photographer and occasionally director (Speed , Twister). The film will appeal to Liam Neeson and Catherine Zeta Jones fans. This is a chilling adaptation from Shirley Jackson's novel based on an assortment of ghouls and ghosts and gets a mediocre rating . It turns out to be a chiller with all the FX budget can be created , being lavishly produced ,but also contains several scenes in little sense and no logic.
10 out of 13 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
7/10
Better than it's score would suggest although not without faults
John O'Neill1 February 2010
This remake of the sixties classic of the same name has unfortunately been somewhat slated by critics, although I feel it's better than most people seem to think it is.

The location work is stunning and the set design has clearly had a lot of work put into it.

Liam Neeson, Owen Wilson and Catherine Zeta Jones all perform their parts quite well, but Lili Taylor is not as good as she should be. On paper she should be perfect for the role of Nell and for much of the film she provokes the necessary sympathy. She seems unable, however, to scream properly, instead letting what sounds like an animal cry. Also, she seems to say "Oh No" in exactly the same tone of voice every time she sees something frightening, although to be fair this is as much the fault of the script as it is hers.

Towards the end the atmosphere is slightly diluted by such things as having the beds and statues spring to life which makes these scenes much less frightening than they could be.

In spite of all this, this movie has a certain something that regardless of it's faults, makes me want to watch it again and again, and ultimately you can't ask much more from a film than that.
8 out of 10 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
7/10
Creepy, but could've been creepier.
bat-525 July 1999
The Haunting is a film that boasts a really creepy house, good effects work and sound work, a cast that seems to believe that everything around them is real and that house. There are scenes that make you jump, and the sinister aspects of what went on at Hill House in the past, I found interesting. There are genuinely creepy moments in the film and I liked the way the ghosts manifested themselves in sheets, curtains and the house itself. Jerry Goldsmith's score gave it the right atmosphere and the sound design had voices popping up around you. What I wish could've happened is for something a little more intense. Jan De Bont had a PG-13 rating to contend with and I think that he held back a little too much. Poltergeist scared me silly when I saw it many years ago, and it still holds up. The Haunting could've used a few more scenes of pure terror. The ending was for me, a little anticlimactic. Overall, I enjoyed it. The acting is good and there are moments that make you jump. I just wish it scared me more.
56 out of 97 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
A REAL Stinker!!
JThomas-211 May 2000
This movie is a remake of a truly horrifying and nightmare inducing 1963 film of the same name. Why Hollywood thinks that digital effects and campy acting is better than the imagination is beyond me. This film is so full of digital effects (none of which look real) and overacting that it cannot compare to the original film which starred Julie Harris and Claire Bloom. This film is just plain stupid. The original (in black and white) is still the scariest film I've ever seen (and I've seen them all). The original makes you use your imagination to fear the unseen - this remake doesn't allow you to do that and that is its biggest mistake.
23 out of 37 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
10/10
More Like Hammer Films
mrskywalker1 June 2001
I know it is fashionable now to hate this movie. I have seen hundreds of spook films including he original 1963 Haunting as well as most of the Hammer films. This film is not restrained and does not hold back at all which is probably why so many modern viewers seemed not to like it. Yet many viewers can accept out of control films like Scream because knife killers are more easy to believe for most people than demons or ghosts. Actually this film had many great scenes and the acting and special effects were great. I have seen it 15 times now and it gets better every time. The director of this film has made a number of interesting and stylish films and was not trying for the type of realism of the 6th sense. The Haunting lets go and is certainly not boring. Perhaps this film might appeal more to John Carpenter fans but more of an traditional plot structure. The old Haunting was also a fine film from 1963. It was even more scary. See both and also The Innocents and The Legend of Hell House with Pamela Franklin.
44 out of 79 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
5/10
Mildly entertaining big budget horror, nothing special but not too bad either.
Paul Andrews27 July 2005
Warning: Spoilers
The Haunting starts with Eleanor Vance, Nell for short, receiving a phone call telling her to take a look at an advert in a paper. An advert which is seeking people who suffer from sleeping disorders to take part in some research conducted by Dr. David Marrow (Liam Neeson) as well as paying $900 a week she gets a roof over her head for free. Since Nell has just been chucked out of her flat & has no money this doesn't sound such a bad idea & gives Marrow a call. Nell is instructed to go to a huge Gothic cross between a castle & stately home 'Hill House' which in reality is called Harlaxton Manor & is located in England, once there she meets up with another test subject named Theo (Catherine Zeta-Jones), they talk about Theo's fetching thigh high boots for a bit & explore the House & eventually stumble upon the third & final volunteer, Luke Sanderson (Owen Wilson). Then as if by magic Dr. Marrow himself makes an appearance along with a couple of assistants, Mary Lambetta (Alix Koromzay) & Todd Hackett (Todd Field). That night Mary suffers an accident & is taken to the hospital by Todd & strange things begin to happen, banging at doors, whispering noises & an overall feeling of unease. The house seems to be effecting Nell more than anyone else, it seems to be trying to tell her something, something about it's dark past that Nell can perhaps put right but there are evil forces at work that don't like house-guests...

The big, no wait sorry at $80,000,000 massive budget remake of The Haunting (1963) was co-executive produced , along with an uncredited Steven Spielberg, & directed by Jan de Bont & I actually found it a reasonably entertaining way to pass an hour & fifty odd minutes. The script credited to David Self based on the novel 'The Haunting of Hill House' by Shirley Jackson had a re-write done on it by script doctor Michael Tolkin & maybe the reason it's a bit of a lightweight mess is because two separate writers worked on it at different times, maybe. The characters are dull & unoriginal with virtually no development at all, I didn't care about anyone except Zeta-Jones & even then only because she's a bit of a looker... The ghost story itself is weak, big bad ghost wants to kill everyone & generally be evil while one character has a sort of sixth sense to know what's going on while the others don't. It's all rather predictable, yawn. The Haunting is at it's best at the beginning when it relies on noises, spooky goings on & an air of mystery but unfortunately The Haunting then descends into a succession of CGI ghosts & special effects which are not scary in the slightest, from this point it's downhill all the way to the obligatory happy ending. On a positive note it moves along at a fair pace, it has a few decent sequences & it kept me entertained for it's duration. The one area where The Haunting does excel is with it's production design credited to Eugenio Zanetti which is both a wonderful asset but at the same time a problem. While the film undeniably looks sumptuous with some truly fantastic & grandiose sets which create a certain atmosphere I couldn't stop thinking that this was indeed a film I was watching, something very man-made, it all looks very fake & overblown. Technically The Haunting is top-notch & very polished throughout. There is no violence or gore besides a quick bloodless decapitation, this is family friendly horror all the way. The acting is pretty bad by all involved, Neeson looks embarrassed, Wilson is a crap actor whatever he's in & The Haunting's only saving grace is the delicious Zeta-Jones & her thigh high boots... The Haunting is a passable time waster of a film, there's nothing deep or meaningful here but it kept me quiet for a couple of hours. Everyone seems to hate it but I think it's just about worth a watch, definitely not the worst horror film I've seen but definitely not the best either.
9 out of 13 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
1/10
Not a touch on the Robert Wise classic!
joeboulter3 June 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Considering the original film version of 'The Haunting" is in my top ten films of all time' I approached this adaption with trepidation. I was right to be cautious as this film is a poorly written and badly executed load of old tosh, all those involved should be ashamed. the original was terrifying to me as a child for one reason! you see nothing. Robert Wise used innovative camera-work and superb lighting to generate fear and this is why it work's. The shame of the new version is that it relies on clever special effects and pyrotechnics to get from A to B, sadder still is that the ingredients were there (actors such as Liam Neeson, Catherine Zeta Jones) to do something different. This film should only watched as an example of studio butchery!
23 out of 40 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
1/10
"It should be burned to the ground, and the ground sown with salt"
Prof_Lostiswitz21 March 2002
This movie is the most accurate measurement of how low the art of cinematography has fallen. $80 million it cost, and it was finished just in time to qualify as "turkey of the century". The reason it is so glaringly awful is that it has to bear comparison with the 1963 original...a real classic. The main effect of this [1999] movie will be to provoke more people to become acquainted with The Haunting[1963], and to discover its austere beauty. And that of many other forgotten old films.
54 out of 107 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
1/10
Hauntingly Bad
walken_on_sunshine20 January 2007
The Haunting is yet another bad horror remake with phony overdone special effects and a big cast of on screen favorites and has no redeeming qualities whatsoever except maybe for the cinematography.Yes remakes aren't all bad but remakes directed by Jion Da Bont definitely are.I suppose that the A-List actors (Liam Neeson,Catherine Zeta Jones,Owen Wilson)are there to distract us from the boring plot,ridiculous special effects, and terrible attempts at scaring it's audience however this is a movie not a tabloid magazine we don't care whose in it we care about the characters and story two things this film missed.The storyline is like taking the classic novel The Haunting Of Hill House and ripping out four chapters and then using whatever's left for the film it is so boring and a lot of it is unexplained.The characters are pretty thin and while the acting is good you don't really care about any of the characters at all.Lily Taylor gives a horrendous performance and sounds like she's 8 years old when delivering her lines not to mention what a horrible screamer she is.Lily Taylor isn't made for the horror genre at all.The ghosts are stupid and cheesy, they look like a bunch of Casper The Friendly Ghost's and the ghost of Hugh Cain looks like a fat guy dressed as the grim reaper for Halloween with a smoke machine.There is this creature on the roof of one of the rooms that is a giant purple mouth and it's not even funny unintentionally just plain sad.The house is pretty and well designed that is probably the only positive thing about this movie it looks nice but that doesn't save it from it's brutal everything else.I can honestly say i felt like i was wasting my time watching The Haunting on TV for no price so I would've been even more pi$$ed if I had paid to see it but luckily it was on Scream Channel.Overall The Haunting is a boring remake that tries to overwhelm you with bad special effects, a poor attempt at horror.
37 out of 71 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
1/10
Poor remake of a classic chiller.
Sylvester10 May 2001
Warning: Spoilers
This poor remake of the 1963 classic starts reasonably well, then replaces suspense with muddled and pointless special effects. For example, in the original, one of the most chilling moments occurs when Nell and Theo are lying side by side in twin beds, listening in terror to the noises outside their room. Nell tells Theo to let go of her hand because she is hurting her. Nell then looks across at Theo, who is several feet away and realises that it was not Theo holding her hand. In the latest version, Nell is lying alone in bed, when suddenly she dives out and slides across the floor. It is only when she tells the unseen force to stop pulling her that we realise what has happened. And can anybody explain what Nell's final words mean - "It's about family. It's always been about family"?

The one redeeming feature is Lili Taylor's performance, but even this cannot save the film. Catherine Zeta-Jones demonstrates once again that, beneath her pretty exterior, there is little depth. In the original, Claire Bloom subtly suggested her lesbian persuasion. Zeta-Jones, however has to spell it out, for example, by asking Nell if she has a boyfriend - or girlfriend.

Definitely one which should be consigned to the pointless remakes graveyard.
29 out of 54 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
1/10
Beware...
kolaboy4 September 2005
Warning: Spoilers
The Haunting. A remake, of course. The original was a creepy psychological thriller, and one that has improved with time. Compared to this 1999 remake, it's a classic. There is no character development here, only caricatures (the slut, the authoritative brain, the "I'm gonna get us outta here" fellow, the oh so sensitive bookworm). But, seeing as how the were banking on the special effects being the "star", I guess characters that you can empathize with are a secondary concern. Unfortunately, the effects are laughable. Mewing cherubs, stretchy doors, irritating dead children that can't speak plainly ... and an idiotically sappy ending that does it's darnedest to give you a new age enema of butterflies and rainbows. Ill take my Skittles orally, thank you. Bruce Dern, I've liked you since "The Cowboys". Stop it.
19 out of 34 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
1/10
The Haunting
Joe Peter25 July 2005
Warning: Spoilers
So it starts with a beautiful old house in the country. You have a group of people who get asked to come to this house and (not surprisingly) the caretakers always lock the gates at night for no apparent reason. Anywhoo, the people laugh, joke etc. This Dr tells them a spooky story of this woman and some kids. They get scared, they start to feel stuff. Oh no, a girl see's s ghost. Some more talking then this huge ghost comes and etc etc. This girl finds out that this ghost killed little kids and that she must free their souls, yeah yeah, blah blah. She does but, oh no, she dies as she does. And goes to heaven whilst this evil ghost goes to hell. Two people survive and escape the house. The script is terrible because a guy gets his head chopped off and Elanor (the one who dies saving the kids) says "oh no". The acting is wooden, the effects are crap and the set is a couple off rooms used over and over again. Basically if you like laughing at badly made films watch it, but if your looking for a scare then definitely give this film a miss. I was extremely disappointed when I watched this. A very big let down. My sister (who gets sacred very easily) got bored in this film it is appalling.
18 out of 33 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
7/10
Hmm.
Liu Mei8 July 2006
Well, I watched this movie for over 2 times. I thought it was all right, though I haven't read the book or watched the older version of this.

I read other people's comments, and most of them rated for this movie for only two or even one star. I think this movie was well performed, and it really gave me chills every second. The children's statue and the special effects were pretty unique. We can also observe how every character shown their different personalities, and they try to fight against the evil spirit or get defeated by it.

Maybe I should read the book and compare it carefully once again?

I rate this movie 7 out of 10.
12 out of 21 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
beautiful horror
ceesky10 November 2011
This is one of the best and beautiful horror films that I've seen and I'm sure others have one way or another retained the images that are so eerie yet majestic in a sense because of one, we have this marvelous setting, the elaborately mystical house to begin with ...and because of careful direction along with characters that are goodness, not stoned as prevalent in today's standards, there is a genuine and yes, scary feeling you could walk away from when watching the film. The elements of the house and the characters are in perfect symbiosis...you keep your eyes open because the perspective of every character that enters in each floor and room are in a way, extensions of each other...what a classic way of enjoying films that don't rely on convoluted plots and/or reading the psyche of the enemy as if its mind is stretched to a 100 ft. deep. Nothing is far too complicated here and it makes for a pleasurable experience. It's an awe to watch the scenes unfold in this film...the images are hidden dialogues for themselves and this saves the audience from over-analyzing things. If you want to get spooked anytime of the day on the pleasure of your simple couch and TV, I think The Haunting works....and the wonderful thing is that after, you can go about doing your normal things. The 'haunting' starts and stops when the movie's finished. Simple!
11 out of 19 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
10/10
OH MY GOD!!!
star5424 July 1999
This is by far the scariest movie I have ever seen.Yes,I scare easily-but this film wasn't just scary,it was multiple-heart-attack-terrifying!! The effects were great,and the cast led by Lily Taylor and Liam Neeson was amazing.A wonderful change from classless teen slashers,this bone-chilling remake is superb.
10 out of 17 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
A truly horrible film
Jexxon13 July 2000
One would like movies like these to be scary, or at least chilling, but de Bont's Haunting is just plain stupid. The house and settings are great to look at but most of the effort on making the film has gone into over-the-top computer generated effects and zombie looking actors, while the script makes no sense at all. How much fun is it to watch Lili Taylor walking around talking to herself in order to help the audience understand what is happening on screen? Unintentionally funny moments include Mr Crain's incredibly bad make up and Owen Wilson not being able to climb over a closed gate. In short, stay away from Hill House.
10 out of 17 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
10/10
Not a Scary Movie, It's a Well Done Movie.
Abasin31 March 2007
Though I have never been scared at the movies I still enjoy the suspense and mystery of a well done "Scary Movie".

The Haunting fits that bill very well.

The acting is good, though I would say that Lili Taylor's acting makes the movie. Maybe her best acting yet. But all the actors did a good job and I'm pleased to see such main stream leading actors playing equal roles.

The set is very well conceived and rich in detail which always helps the depth of a movie.

Having not seen the original movie, I see this movie as a stand alone story worth every minute spent watching it.
8 out of 13 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
10/10
Better than I thought
h_tails198321 September 2000
When I first heard of it, I wasnt interested in it. But I saw it about 6 days ago and I loved it!!! The effects and the acting were great. Not many movies scare me but this one really got my heart pumping!!!!! The graphics made it even more effective and after seeing it, I wanted to see it again!!! Liam Neeson has outdone himself again with his acting and well, this is going to be in my top ten greatest movies!!!
6 out of 9 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
1/10
too obvious
mauricekleykens4 August 2006
The original movie ( dated 19??)did not show any "monster" , it just SUGGESTED scary "things" , .

This version however shows every aspect of a "sick minded ghost" , including unnecessary special effects .

The "mystery " ,as presented in the original movie , was the most scary part : one simply did not know what was causing the weird things that happened. By showing the face of the "old man" , this Mister has completely disappeared. Even worse : the special effects ( crying wooden children faces) is ridiculous. This is a stupid remake , too obviously spectacular to even be close as scary as the original
22 out of 45 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
1/10
Odious and Awful
BoYutz22 September 2000
What an inane effort, one of the worst movies ever made. Horrible acting. Dumb story with Lili Taylor as some kind of psychic sleuth. The interior of Hill House looks like some carnival funhouse. An insult to the original Robert Wise masterpiece and to Shirley Jackson's fine novel.
19 out of 38 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
loading
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews