Consumed by guilt and grief over her mother's recent death and driven to adventure by her belief in the supernatural, Eleanor Vance (Julie Harris) is the most unstable--and therefore the most vulnerable--visitor to Hill House. She's invited there by anthropologist Dr. Markway (Richard Johnson), along with the bohemian lesbian Theodora (Claire Bloom), who has acute extra-sensory abilities, and glib playboy Luke Sanderson (Russ Tamblyn, from Wise's West Side Story), who will gladly inherit Hill House if it proves to be hospitable. Of course, the shadowy mansion is anything but welcoming to its unwanted intruders. Strange noises, from muffled wails to deafening pounding, set the stage for even scarier occurrences, including a door that appears to breathe (with a slowly turning doorknob that's almost unbearably suspenseful), unexplained writing on walls, and a delicate spiral staircase that seems to have a life of its own.
The genius of The Haunting lies in the restraint of Wise and screenwriter Nelson Gidding, who elicit almost all of the film's mounting terror from the psychology of its characters--particularly Eleanor, whose grip on sanity grows increasingly tenuous. The presence of lurking spirits relies heavily on the power of suggestion (likewise the cautious handling of Theodora's attraction to Eleanor) and the film's use of sound is more terrifying than anything Wise could have shown with his camera. Like Jack Clayton's 1961 chiller, The Innocents, The Haunting knows the value of planting the seeds of terror in the mind, as opposed to letting them blossom graphically on the screen. What you don't see is infinitely more frightening than what you do, and with nary a severed head or bloody corpse in sight, The Haunting is guaranteed to chill you to the bone. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
its a awesome movie if you like the old movies. its so much better on dvd then vhs so much better.Published 14 months ago by jennifer
Everything of the cinematography brought to create this movie is a top quality and well orchestred!
Please forget the 1997 haunting! The true wonder is right there! Read more
Although blu ray is an improvement on most colour films, the added sharpness in B&W is about all you can expect of a BR in monochrome.. Still, the version is the best I've seen.Published 19 months ago by This is not a review it is a comment on Amazon setting ates. Before rendering a review read the book
If you're watching this film for the first time, you'd be well advised to have a blanket handy so you can dive under it from time to time. Definitely not for the faint of heart. Read morePublished 23 months ago by D. G. Anderson
I watch quite a bit of horror movies. However none seem to frighten me, this one is different. While I was watching the movie I ACTUALLY got scared (which is rare for me). Read morePublished on Aug. 19 2010 by Sarah Filkin
No ghost is ever seen in this film by Robert Wise;
The atmosphere's created by suggestion and surmise. Read more
while i thought the haunting was a good movie,i didn't think it was
great.it does have some genuine chills,and is very atmospheric. Read more
It may have been a good movie, it may still be, but it got old. It's a litle bit slow..some good effects with THE DOOR at the end. Read morePublished on Oct. 4 2006 by Eric Simard
I probably would have liked this movie a lot better if I hadn't read Shirley Jackson's brilliant book first. Read morePublished on May 24 2004