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The Haunting

Starring Liam Neeson, Lili Taylor, Catherine Zeta-Jones...  View more >

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Reviews Summary


Please Note: Reader Reviews are submitted by the readers of The BigScreen Cinema Guide and represent their own personal opinions regarding this movie, and do not represent the views of The BigScreen Cinema Guide, or any of its associated entities.

[--- See Now! ---]by  
Jan 25, 2000
What a great movie. Just the right amount of scarryness. See now.

[--- Stay Away! ---]by  
Jan 25, 2000
Wow. I was incredibly disappointed in this movie.

The previews looked incredible. The premise was pretty good.

The actual movie, however, stank up the screen. The premise? A psychologist lures 3 people to an old house (hill house) under the pretence that they are going to be subjects in an insomnia study. In reality, they are part of a study in group fear at the haunted hill house...

After the opening fly-by of the house (which was pretty impressive) and the title screen, I was first struck by the amaturish camera work. All tight shots of the actors' faces, giving the audience a cheated feel, especially when we get to hill house and we want to see more of the gorgeous interior. There were several shots that I actually laughed out loud at. The laughable dialogue ruined many otherwise acceptable scenes, giving the impression that the script was written by a 6th grader.

The characters are all underdeveloped, and when the movie tries to develop one of them (elanore, the only one who has any "depth" to her) it just makes the other character seem just that much more shallow.

I felt as though the movie were talking down to me the entire time, reinforcing things that were established either in earlier dialogue or visually (For instance, showing a gorgeous clip of what can obviously only be hill house, and then panning over to a name plate that reads "hill house") I hate it when movies underestimate the intelligence of the audience.

All of that added to the plot holes and meandering, often incoherent "plot" of this movie, made The Haunting almost unwatchable.

Indeed, if it weren't for the fact that the sets were so gorgeous and interesting (and Catherine Zeta-Jones isn't hard to look at either) I would have been even more tempted to walk out.

Please stay away from this one. It's a tremendous waste of money, time, and effort. If you like this sort of haunted house thing, play "The 7th Guest." A much more enthralling way to spend a few hours.

[--- Stay Away! ---]by  
Jan 25, 2000
Not a cent of my $7.00 was even remotely worth it. I HATED THIS FILM.

I want to write more, but then I'd have to reveal parts of the plot, which I really don't want to do (in case someone wants to view this putrid rag of a film). So instead, I'll be quick and to the point:

1) Characters are one-dimensional, stereotypical, with useless traits tacked on apparantly on a whim.

2) Plot would be interesting, if it didn't involve the characters banging us over the head with the already obvious. Also, see reasons 4 and 6.

3) There's the stereotypical funny man tossed in to make sure we don't get too scared for too long. He'd work better, if we ever actually got scared.

4) Plot would be even more interesting if it didn't degrade into a sloppy, mushy, sentimental, totally illogical and utterly predictable ending.

5) People die, for absolutely no reason. And other people SHOULD die, but don't!!!

6) The plot leaves perfectly usable plot hooks totally wasted, and creates other situations that are simply bizarre and confusing. Very little is ever explained, and the things that are didn't need to be.

A finishing phrase to sum it all up:

I only had one expectation when I went to watch this film: I wanted to get scared. I was willing to sit through the predictable character set-ups. I was willing to have the painfully obvious plot set up before my eyes and watching it lurch forward.

What I got was nothing. What I lost was three good hours of my time.

Where is The Blair Witch Project when you need it?

[--- Good ---]by  
Jan 25, 2000
I liked this movie more than I thought I would. It was suspenseful, with a few scream-out-loud scenes and an unexpected twist. If you're looking for a good, old fashioned scare, set in a creepy old house, see this movie.

[--- Good ---]by  
Jan 25, 2000
this movie was very good. the plot is always constant and interesting. although there are some things in this movie that you just don't get... that is ok though, because i don't think you are supposed to get it!! all in all this movie was well done. and lili taylor, i think that that is her name! deserves to be recognized for that role..

[--- Stay Away! ---]by  
Jan 25, 2000
This is a BAD movie. The dialogue is only there to thread the special effects together.Early in the movie the professor's assistant is injured in the mansion. As they leave for the hospital he urges them to return as soon a possible; and we never here from them again! Where did they go? Could it be... Is it possible... they ended up on the cutting room floor?! Please skip this dog of a movie.

[--- Stay Away! ---]by  
Jan 25, 2000
This movie is a remake of a Robert Wise film that actually could say "when" before the special effects took it over.

Jan De Bont starts this thing off good, but somewhere near the 70 minute mark he loses everything when he notices he doesn't have any terror going and no digital effects yet.

Disappointing.

[--- Wait for Rental ---]by  
Jan 25, 2000
I guess there were a few "scary" parts, but all in all it seemed to me like someone just sorta slopped the scenes together and left out some important ones. I didn't really get "into" the story that much because they didn't explain or develop it. The ghost story behind the house seemed like it was just an excuse to throw together some (admittedly good) special effects.

[--- See Now! ---]by  
Jan 25, 2000
This movie is totally worth the money and i would go again and see it!! The house is really cool and the special efects were the best! dont wait to see it when it comes out to rent! i cant wait to go see this movie again!!! out of 5 stars i give this film **** ot of *****!!! go see it now! i wont be sorry

[--- Stay Away! ---]by  
Jan 25, 2000
This movie was so dumb it makes movies like Lepricaun seem exellent!! The end sucked. In the beginning it looks good but after about 10 min into the movie you know it's a mistake. Maybe I don't like it b/c I've grown up on old/good horror movies and this one falls under the DUMB catergory. Don't waste your money on this movie.

[--- Stay Away! ---]by  
Jan 25, 2000
Stay away from the Haunting at all costs! This movie is incredibly stupid will have the audience wondering what they just saw. Actually some of the audience will feel dumber for watching this two hour and five minute peice of plotline holes, extremely dumb dialogue, and all in all this ridiculous movie. This movie has the potential to be good. If the screenwriter wasn't so caught up with showing us the house they are staying at, the characters could actually be developed. The only character that has any depth to her is Eleanor, compared to Theo and the other guy in the study.

This movie is ruined by the insanely stupid dialogue toward the end. The effects are average, and overall this movie reminded me of "The Mummy". So, save your money by not going to see this movie.

My rating:1/2 a * out of ****

[--- See Now! ---]by  
Jan 25, 2000
This movie was great! I loved it! There were great special effects and wonderful incidents to prove the point of the movie.

[--- Stay Away! ---]by  
Jan 25, 2000
I have seen some bad movies in my day, but this one could top them all. I think it was even worse than The Mummy. Where do I begin... Well, the first 30-45 minutes of The Haunting is a real bore. Then all the strange looking special effects kick in, and I guess the audience is supposed to be scared, which they aren't. As the plot (if you can call it that...) gets going, more and more unexplained events develop, the most bizarre being when the girl somehow miraculously figures out that her great great grandmother lived in the house and was married to the owner. How she figured this out is an absolute mystery. This movie just didn't make any sense. The acting was pretty bad also. Overall, if you want to see one of the worst movies in a while, go see this movie. If not, try and stay away from The Haunting.

[--- See Now! ---]by  
Jan 25, 2000
This movie was fun. It had bits of suspense, great special effects, and a good story. I recommend ths one. It's just fun, not to be considered a serious horror movie. My only argument is that everyone besides the main girl didn't have very much depth. Either way, good movie, go see it.

[--- Good ---]by  
Jan 25, 2000
This was a decent movie. I would advise you to go see it in the theater, so you can get the experience of the special effects. Over all, I thought the movie had low plot and character development.

May 27, 2003
"The Haunting" is a remake of the 1963 movie. I saw the original movie on Turner Classic Movie, so this 1999 version is a little different. In it a group of people who had problems sleeping,ends up battle spirits and liberating the souls of children. Lili Tayler plays one of the patients who befriends the spirits. The special effects worked very well.

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