Projections - Movie Reviews

The Haunting

I recall a line from one of the Scream movies when a character is asked "What's your favorite scary movie?" and the response is "Show Girls".  When you have seen The Haunting, you may answer the question the same way.

A remake of the low budget 1963 Haunting, is directed by Jan de Bont and has all of the ingredients and potential for a good film.  With Liam Neeson (Star Wars Episode 1) as Dr. David Morrow, Catherine Zeta Jones (Entrapment) as the bisexual Theodora, Lili Taylor (Ransom) as Eleanor an unusual character who hears spirit voices and Owen Wilson (Armageddon) as Luke, the sarcastic hopefully soon to be victim that is needed in all horror movies, there is certainly star power.

Sound good so far?

Now for the scary part...the script.  Horrible dialog, poor setup, and an impossible story line make The Haunting a horror movie of a different type.  Yes there are some fair special effects and the house itself is magnificent, but to expect these to carry not only the movie line but our imaginations is ludicrous.  We have a "sleep disorder study" being held in a huge mansion but is actually a study in human psychology and fear.  Once all of the characters have been established, they fall into the background and the movie begins its nose dive into using cheap "try to scare you" lines, a miserable bass thumping sound track meant to elicit jumps from your seat and special effects that are not very special.

I can say that there is one bright spot in the movie and that is the house.  This mid-1800's mansion is a great combination of architectural styles and at times is breath taking, but not in a gasping horror film way.

I can say with conviction, this is a film to stay away from and I have a tip for director de Bont.
Read the script before accepting the money next time and save yourself the embarrassment of another dog like this.

The Haunting


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