- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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- Michael Whitty
Robert Wise made this scare film in between his big musicals of "West Side Story" and "The Sound Of Music" and "The Haunting" is surprisingly chilling dealing with a house known for its scares. A group of people come in for a few nights and have to deal with some scary moments. Made in black-and-white there is emphasis on character reaction and thematic style for suspenseful effect. Wise was known for suspense in earlier films like "Day the Earth Stood Still" and he can be as good with heavier themes as with lighter ones.
- kevin sellers
I disagree with Dashiell Barnes that Claire Bloom's character, Theo, is a lesbian. Yes, she has strong feelings for Julie Harris' fragile spinster, but those feelings seem more protective than sensual. And although she's clearly not attracted to Russ Tamblyn, she sure as hell seems jealous of Harris' interest in Richard Johnson, as if she'd like to have Johnson to herself. Therefore, I would say that Theo could be bi, but with a definite leaning toward men.
- kevin sellers
It's a well established fact that when Robert Wise works on a small scale, with oppressive and/or claustrophobic settings, and uses less than mega box office actors, his films are usually good. (For example, "The Set Up," "House On Telegraph Hill," "Andromeda Strain," "Odds Against Tomorrow" and "Born To Kill") It's also the case that when this director decides to go all "epic" on us he's a windy bore. ("Sand Pebbles," "Sound Of Music") Fortunately, "The Haunting" is in the first category. It's just five characters in a creepy house and it grabs you from the get go with an effective montage of the house's macabre history and keeps your interest, not with a bloody body count, a la John Carpenter, but with acute examinations of the personalities of the main characters. Screenwriter Nelson Giddings, working from a classic Shirley Jackson novel, deftly delineates the demeanor of a lonely, death obsessed spinster, (one of Julie Harris' finest performances) a sultry, sarcastic psychic (Claire Bloom, also at her best) a skeptical playboy (Russ Tamblyn, an underrated actor, with the proper sneer in his tone) and an eccentric anthropologist who finds the supernatural stimulating (Richard Johnson, who's usually a conventional love interest, excellently playing against type.) Indeed, after the opening sequence, we do not see a single corpse until the very end, and it's a credit to Giddings script and Wise's taut, disturbing direction that we do not feel the lack. About the only criticism I have is that Johnson's wife reappears toward the end and she's of no interest whatsoever. Also, it would have been nice if we had been witness to what drove her crazy. For this slip up let's give it an A minus.
Far Better Outing Than Remake
Definitely brings chills after all these years.
Amazing Human Interest Ghost Tale
Still frightening after all these years...The human interest - four strangers thrown together,each an outcast in their own way, and trying to find acceptance and respect from the others - lends this filmit's great power and poignancy. The terrifying prologue lets us know their efforts are doomed, and not in anypleasant way.The perfect concert of sound effects, cinematography, lighting, soundtrack, music, and above all, fine acting, never lets up for a moment. The eerie atmosphere is crushing.
one of the best horror/suspense films ever/
This is one of my all time favorites for this genre. This film paved the way for other great ghost/ horror films without the overdone special effects. The black and white film sets the mood of the movie and enhances the unsettling undercurrent so prevelant throughout the story. The narratives are great and some of the most terrifying moments in the film are conveyed to the audience forcefully but they make you think. There are no monsters or ghosts to be seen, just a fear of the unknown. What held Eleanors hand that night or what made the noise down the hall but didnt mar the woodwork or what caused the door to breathe or expand. This is truly one of the best and it is still scary.
- Dashiell Barnes
Wise's 60's horror flick has terrifying power, however it's not strong as I would have liked it to be. The performances are fine, with Harris standing out as the fragile lead & Bloom as a psychic lesbian. The unusual cinematography & eerie sounds add a sense of foreboding to the scenes of terror. A good film, but elements are dated & aren't scary anymore. I give it a 3.5/5
Masterfully crafted film
"The Haunting" is not only a great horror film, it is so masterfully crafted that it is the benchmark for this genre of film. Watch the lighting, the off-kiltered camera angles, the subtle sexual tension provided by the beautiful Claire Bloom, and hear the wonderful voice-over by the great Julie Harris and nothing afterwards compares to this masterpiece of a film. I have watched it dozens of times and it always amazes me by it's perfection.
Less is more in a world of C.G.
- Paul Salapatas
I'm not bashing good effects by any means,it helps the story stay true to the vision of the storyteller!But as with this Hitchcockian type tale,our imagination makes this movie sizzle with delicate horror! You have to be amazed at the simplicity of this movie,and yet it's not predictable.The Haunting is a truly a creepy,old school scary flick that deserves to be watched again and again!
I love this movie! The first time I watched it I was about ten and it scared me so bad I wouldn't watch it again until I was grown. The scene where Julie Harris is in bed and she thinks that her roommate is holding her hand and then she realizes that it wasn't her scared me so much that even today I will not sleep with my arm hanging off the bed and I am fifty three! Really creepy and scary, great movie!!
Best haunted house movie
This movie is hands down the best haunted house movie of all time. The director understood that there is nothing scarier than the unknown, and the things that you can't see. Something many horror movie directors unfortunately seem to forget. The scene where Julie Harris and Claire Bloom are in the bedroom with the ghost pounding on the door is the truly terrifying. I love a good horror movie, but The Haunting is one of only a very select few that truly give me the creeps. If you've never seen it and you even slightly like horror movies this one is well worth your time.
This is the scariest movie that I've ever seen. The most chilling moments are imagining the horror that lives in the house. The weird children's books that are described belonging to the owner of the house sounded really twisted. The spiral staircase scenes were a heart-stoppers!This movie gave me recurring nightmares for 20 years after seeing it in the 1960's as a child. I guarantee if you see this film at night, you will be afraid to go to bed.
A Classic Psychological Horror/Thriller Film. Perfect in story telling, Direction(Robert Wise),Acting, lighting, pace, Music Score and inference. The story of Hill House is a tragic one, with the 3 Mrs. Cranes all meeting an untimely end.Professor/Dr. Markway(Richard Johnson) needs a haunted house to study, and finds Hill House, more than adequate for his needs. Eleanor Vance(Julie Harris) and Theodora(Claire Bloom) are called in to assist them due to their psychic abilities. This was way before Mother Cleo.As the story progresses, strange things start to happen. Loud noises, bulging doors cold and darkend spooky corriders, and watch out for the spiral staircase..,ouch... Eleanor being very sheltered most of her life, develops strong feelings for the married Dr., and starts to lose a true sense of reality. The disappearance of Grace Markway(Lois Maxwell), the Mrs., only leads to quicken the intrigue. A true genuine masterpiece of suspense, it plays on your hidden psycholgical responses to the unknown and individual childhood fears.Highly Atmospheric. Creepy...5 stars out of 5. Great Halloween viewing.
I remember this movie as "The Haunting of Hill House", and this along side with Hitchcock's "The Birds" were the two movies of my childhood that frightened me the most. They just don't make them like this anymore - the directors were able to make your hair stand on end without the graphic violence and blood of today's horror films. I remember the tension throughout the film and the sense of relief near the end, only to experience a shockingly, terror-filled climax. Great fun and good memories of "Friday Fright Nights" with my family.
I love this film! I have it on dvd, and vhs. I have been showing this G rated film for years to my language classes (6th grade) to get them to understand mood, and use of imagination (no buckets of blood)in creating horror. As a result, a good number of my students have had their work published in our local paper's scary story contest each year at Halloween. It's amazing how quick the kids are to turn their noses up when I introduce the film as G rated, and yet these same kids can't wait to buy their own copies of it after watching this classic.
This has to be the tenth time I have seen this movie on this channel in the last five months. I find this version to be a lot more suspenseful and challenging than the newer version when it is watched sparingly. This is one of the most impersonated films of it's genre which has been regarded with little respect and used merely as an outline to make box office dullards. Almost every mainstream movie that boasts a haunted house has the shadow of this film throughout; it is almost as if by watching this movie you have seen most of them and you could save yourself a lot of time, money, energy, and disappointment. Seriously though, again??
Best of the best.
- Rose Ann
I watched this movie the first time on TV in the very early 70's. I cannot believe I missed it as a child since I love the horror movies and still do. I was an adult but it still scared the heck out of me. The specific scenes of the hand holding and the door pushing in and of course seeing Grace at the top of the spiral staircase were all priceless. The actors in this movie were perfect for the roles and this movie will always be one of the suspenseful and sarry. No remake touches it. Seeing too much is not always what works. This one works because it is the imagination at work. Great movie.
Is it real????
Is this movie based off the hauntings of the Myrtles Plantation in Louisiana(that place is creepy as hell at night)? I dunno the house in this movie reminds me so much of that place. I think it would have been really cool if the writers set the movie at the Myrtles instead of this Hill House place. But beyond that its still a really cool movie.
"Who's hand was I holding?"
This is the best of the best in haunted house movies. It is chilling to this day! As soon as it came out on DVD I bought and whether you watch it during the day or at night ....don't do it alone.
The dead are not quiet in Hill House.
- Ben Larson
Director Robert Wise won Oscars for The Sound of Music and West Side Story. he took a break between them to direct this chiller that earned him a Golden Globe nomination. And he did it without CGI!Oscar-nominee Julie Harris (The Member of the Wedding) is the troubled soul that is connected to Hill House for some unexplained reason. She knows she is destined to be a part of it forever. She really gives an incredibly good performance and is creepy throughout.She is supported by Claire Bloom, Richard Johnson, and Oscar-nominee Russ Tamblyn (Peyton Place).Look for Miss Moneypenney (Lois Maxwell) in the role of the Johnson's wife.Creepy, creepy, creepy.
The scariest movie...EVER!
Saw this movie (too many times to count) as a kid...still scares me as much now as then!!
still great after all these years...
Saw this as a child and it's still great 40 years later. Thought the Theo character was "cooler" than Eleanor, but never thought of her as a lesbian, so was a little surprised when this was run as part of the gay night collection. Tried to watch it with that in mind, but still don't see it. Call me stupid. To me, it's just a great spooky movie.
Still Frightening Right To This Day
The Haunting is one of the most masterly crafted tales of terror. Based on Shirley Jackson's classic "The Haunting of Hill House" leaves you in fear of the unknown and plays tricks on the imagination. These are the best horror films were you don't see ghost or monsters, but let's your mind run fluently as your imagination goes in 1001 directions. This is done very effectively in this film. With the great sound effects, that leaves one quivering, the scene with the big door caving inwards adds a different dimention in horror. Again it's the fact of what's behind the door is more frightening. This is a masterpiece made by Robert Wise.
A Real Psychological Thriller
There are few movies that can really scare, and this is one of them. It has a believable story line and good actors. The remake absolutely cannot compare to this original. The music, scenes and narration help give it that creepy quality that we all look for in a good horror film. With The Innocents and The Univited, this movie makes it on my favorite scary movie list.
Still a Classic!
- Hanford Searl Jr.
Thanks to Director Robert Wise, actress Julie Harris (especially during her mental voice-overs) & composer Humphrey Searle (no relation), this movie's still great!Black & white film adds to-the-moodiness, as well as the special mansion used for-the-shoot. Claire Bloom's semi-lesbian ambiance is brilliant, Disney's Russ Tamblyn seems mis-cast & the male lead actor as the host psychic weak. But, it somehow ALL works.ENJOY, be scared too!
1st time watching the movie
we watched this movie in the sixties, as kids, and o boy this was creepy!!! Especially the dark,huge door being pushed in from the other side. We all hid under the blankets and shivered!!!!
One of My Top Five Favorite Movies
My brother and I watched this movie when we were kids one night and it scared us half to death. Especially the part when Eleanor wanted to know who was holding her hand. That did it for us.I love you, Julie.
A Lot Of Fun
I had a ball with this film. It really didn't scare me at all,but it was incredibly creepy,and that night I couldn't move without feeling weird and finda creeped. The only part that scared me was when Eleanor was walking down the spiral staircase and you suddn;y saw that face pop up out of nowhere....my heart skipped a beat and I screamed. The sound effects were pretty scary,too,and really eeire. Eleanor was a strange little character...so depressed and timid.Julie Harris did a supurb job in that role. I'd watch this movie again,I really had a lot of fun watching it,even though that one part scared me out of my wits.The sound effects are brilliant,and everything's just perfect for the film.
Scared me sleepless
I saw this as a kid. It was really frightening. Especially the sound effects!