Let’s visit a boring house.
The Haunting is (I think) the earliest adaptation of The Haunting of Hill House, which ended up being a damn good miniseries on Netflix. We decided to check out the original to see if we thought it was any good.
I know that everyone is piling on Rotten Tomatoes as of late, and I hate to jump on the bandwagon, but how this is certified fresh is beyond me. This film lacks any scares. Seriously, you will have had farts with more potential fright than anything this stinker has to offer.
We follow Nell (Eleanor Lance) who I think is supposed to be crazy? They seem to want to say the house is corrupting her, but she is clearly unstable from the first time we meet her. Making her already unstable leaves any change the house causes her to be a moot point.
Nell is invited by Dr. Markway (Richard Johnson) who strives to be the world’s worst researcher as he gathers people to try to scare them in a supposedly haunted house. He also brings Theo (Claire Bloom) who flip flops on her personality at frequent intervals to the point of absurdity. We also get Luke (Russ Tamblyn) an annoying and unneeded element in the story.
The best thing that I can say about this movie is that we should all be familiar with narratives involving a bunch of stupid morons in a haunted house. I guess at least it is a known turd.
I get that old movies can’t hack the same scares but pounding on a door… endlessly, is about the extent we get here. It wouldn’t be so bad if any of the characters were likable, or consistent. After hearing Luke mention sale price, the four hundredth time, you’ll start to like the incessant banging.
There are no ghosts—at least not any seen. No real scares. No stakes. No point. I think this film might work on six-year-olds today. We turned to openly mocking it about five minutes in, but we both ran out of steam as this horrid and boring movie slogged towards its nearly two-hour running time.
I wanted to at least make this review funny, but this movie is simply too exhausting for creativity. Worse yet, I think I am forgetting most of it as every minute passes from seeing the credits roll.
I’m sure a lot of folks have fond memories of this from when they were kids (I feel the same about House on Haunted Hill), but without the rose-colored glasses of nostalgia, this is just a lazy ass horror film.
We paid money to rent this. We are fools. Don’t be like us.
We totally rented the 1999 version right after.