Since we’re getting closer and closer to one of my favorite days of the year (Halloween if you haven’t guessed it by the title), I wanted to take a moment to talk about one of my favorite scary movie…would scary be the right word? Horror movie perhaps? I know, Thriller, maybe that’s more fitting. In any case, “The Haunting” for whatever reason has managed to make it as my favorite Halloween time movie, if not my absolute favorite then right up near the top that’s for sure.
Now I couldn’t tell you what movie I had gone to see when I saw my first teaser for “The Haunting” but I can tell you that the mixture of the haunting music and tone, coupled with the morphing house into a twisted face had me hooked the second I saw it and right then and there I knew I had to see this movie. I knew that it was essentially a scary movie and even though I have a love/hate relationship with being scared out of my mind I still wanted to see it. Honestly I think it was the CGI use in the teaser that hooked me more than anything but in the end I don’t care, I wanted to see this movie and damn it I would if it was the last thing I did on this earth. Now to be fair I’ve done many things since seeing it so naturally watching the movie was not the last thing I did in this mortal coil, but saying it felt fitting to say the least.
Again, since it’s been so long, I couldn’t tell you when I first saw the film either and while it was less scary than I thought it would be I love it none the less. I loved the story, the concept in general, even the characters, there’s just something about this movie that really grabs me, and I think it’s because it is a scary movie but not too scary if that makes any sense. Looking back at it, the story may not be the best regardless of the fact that I loved it, well it is a little corny or predictable at times, but it made it all the more interesting to me but it was the slow realization of what was going on that really hooked me.
Sadly it has been a while since I’ve seen it and parts of it are lost to memory but one that always stands out is the spiral staircase scene, Eleanor standing on the edge at the top as she’s possessed in a way while the good Doctor begins climbing then without warning it begins to crumble away beneath him. It isn’t fast, it isn’t intense, it’s slow and drawn out, building suspense with every second, wondering if he’ll survive or not and that is what got to me, that’s what I loved and not just in that one scene but it was across the movie in various spots. I love the thrill (does that make this a thriller?), wondering if they are going to make it or not but done so in a way that brings you to the edge of your seat without it being a face paced roller coaster ride.
Every year around Halloween time this is one of the movies I try to make sure I watch and unfortunately, I haven’t had the opportunity in the last couple of years to do so though I’m honestly hoping to change that in the coming days. For anyone who hasn’t seen it, all I can say is if you enjoy a decent thriller without a lot of blood or gore and love an occasional jump scare or three then “The Haunting” is definitely worth watching even though I know it’s been slammed on many occasions for being silly or boring but still, I personally found it enjoyable and I know I can’t be the only one.
Incidentally, and perhaps I should have mentioned this one first, this particular movie is actually a 1999 remake of a 1963 movie (with the same title) which was made based off of a 1959 novel (The Haunting of Hill House…yes, same as the Netflix show, and yes, somewhat tied together as well in a way). To be perfectly honest, even with the film being panned for various reasons, not only is it worth watching, along with its 1963 counterpart, but the history of the novel and it’s adaptations are also worth looking in to and to be fair I myself kept getting distracted as I went further down that particular rabbit hole.