The Haunting (1963)

The Haunting Movie Review……………………………………………………………………

The Haunting Movie Review

The Haunting is a 1963 British horror film directed by Robert Wise and starring Julie Harris. It is a respectable, yet mildly disappointing horror picture.

……………………………………………………………………

A closed mind is the worst defense against the supernatural

……………………………………………………………………

The Haunting Movie Review……………………………………………………………………

It follows a small group of people investigating a purportedly haunted house. The movie is more psychological instead of paranormal and nothing supernatural ever really happens here. That is okay and I respect that as it led to better character development and more realistic, emotional driven drama.

However, I still found the film problematic because those psychological elements weren’t the best realized. I am of course talking about the narration. The protagonist’s thoughts are expressed to us almost all the time through a series of inner monologues. And although that classical, book-like and elegant approach felt interesting at first, it quickly wore off its welcome as it became repetitive and the film relied too heavily on it. I would have cut off at least half of those monologues.

Another problem is the acting. Surely the characters are very well developed and actually admirable for a horror flick. And the actresses did a really good job with Julie Harris in particular giving a terrific performance. But the actors are so bad and mediocre that they easily overshadow them and because the women are so good here, you could easily see how weak the men are with Russ Tamblyn in particular giving a horrible performance. Instead of being scared, he wore that stupid smiling face of his throughout the whole movie and successfully killing the suspense when he was on screen.

……………………………………………………………………

The Haunting Movie Review

…………………………………………………………………..

But The Haunting is so technically innovative and just fantastic that it lifted those major mistakes and helped make the movie much more enjoyable than it could have been without them. The cinematography is just stupendous and some of the shots were absolutely spectacular. I just loved the imagery in this movie, the crisp black and white photography and the haunted house itself which was beautifully envisioned and superbly well utilized.

I loved that staircase which was very memorable and intriguing. I loved the outdoors shots at the house and its various rooms and corridors were so well established and used to create suspense. The film is quite suspenseful at times and I liked the paranoia and the going mad aspect of it, so dramatic and creepy. It is the kind of realistic horror film that is more sophisticated than truly scary.

……………………………………………………………………

The Haunting Movie Review……………………………………………………………………

I also respected the dialogue in The Haunting. Some of the conversations regarding the house itself as well as the supernatural were quite interesting to listen to and I loved the conflict that was present between the two women, but all of them interacted really well with one another. I liked the ending and both the score and the sound effects were superb. The direction is also excellent and the editing is deft leading to such an all around polished feature. I just wished that it was more scary and that it had less monologues in it.

The Haunting has a frustrating overabundance of inner monologues in it and the performances from the male actors are quite weak, but the women did a really good job, the film is quite suspenseful at times and it is above all such a genuinely terrific visual experience with beautiful cinematography, phenomenal imagery of the house and a couple of striking atmospheric sequences.

My Rating – 4

……………………………………………………………………

Share
Posted in 1960s, 1963, FILM DECADES, Horror, MOVIE REVIEWS and tagged , , , , , , , .

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.