The Haunting (1963)

Directed by: Robert Wise

Stars: Julie Harris, Claire Bloom and Richard Johnson

Language: English

Country: USA

Also known as: A Casa Maldita, A ház hideg szíve, Bis das Blut gefriert, Desafio ao Além, Det spökar på Hill House, Gli invasati, La casa embrujada, La maison du diable, La mansión de los espíritus, Nawiedzony dom, O stoiheiomenos pyrgos, Opsednutost, Posednu?e, Spøgeriet på Hill House, Tatari, Vor Schreck gebannt, Yö kauhujen talossa

Description: 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.

Review: Scariest movie ever….There is no blood, there is no slashing, today this would be rated “G.” But, this is the scariest movie, ever. Every time I watch this masterpiece (and I have watched it over 50 times), I see or hear something new. The density of the black and white is incredible. The camera angles and reflection shots are unsettling. The score is appropriately terrifying, from the ringing of tiny bells to the cannon ball rocking down the hall. The cast is excellent. The direction superb. This is horror at the peak of perfection–it is in your mind. The only thing better is to read the book by Ms. Jackson on a dark night when you are all alone, and “far from town.” As Stephen King said about Shirley Jackson, “She never had to shout.” Mr. Wise is to be credited with bringing her whispers to the screen. Rent this for Halloween. Or, own it forever. I still have trouble getting to sleep after I watch this.



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