Dr. Markway, doing research to prove the existence of ghosts, investigates Hill House, a large, eerie mansion with a lurid history of violent death and insanity. With him are the skeptical young Luke, who stands to inherit the house, the mysterious and clairvoyant Theodora and the insecure Eleanor, whose psychic abilities make her feel somehow attuned to whatever spirits inhabit the old mansion. As time goes by it becomes obvious that they have gotten more than they bargained for as the ghostly presence in the house manifests itself in horrific and deadly ways.Written by
Doug Sederberg <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Because the story was filmed in England, but set in the United States, Eleanor passes a house with a sign reading "To Let" instead of "For Rent". See more »
Dr. John Markway:
An evil old house, the kind some people call haunted, is like an undiscovered country waiting to be explored. Hill House had stood for 90 years and might stand for 90 more. Silence lay steadily against the wood and stone of Hill House, and whatever walked there... walked alone.
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I like Robert Wise as a director a good deal of the time (THE BODY SNATCHER; THE ANDROMEDA STRAIN). But only recently did I finally get around to seeing this so-called horror classic called THE HAUNTING, and it was quite underwhelming for me, unfortunately. I have always appreciated subtle and atmospheric horror flourishes and they're not typically lost on me; I really enjoyed the opening and the first half hour or so, where we are introduced to the quirky characters (particularly the neurotic Eleanor) and to the creepy Hill House, with all its spooky history and grandeur. And then the talk, talk, talk set in, with not much else to sustain my interest. This is considered possibly THE greatest "haunted house" film of them all, but that is a consensus of opinion I just can't share. For me, James Whale's THE OLD DARK HOUSE (1932) still takes that honor. ** out of ****
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