Thursday, November 15, 2012

Horror Classics: The Haunting

This 1963 classic ghost story was based on the amazing book by Shirley Jackson "The Haunting of Hill House." Simple premise; a parapsychologist takes a couple of psychics and the heir of the estate to a notoriously haunted home to find out if ghosts are real.  It was directed by Robert Wise, a brilliant moviemaker and was flawlessly portrayed by the talented cast.

With a very modest budget of $1,400,000, Robert Wise proved you could make a truly unsettling and quality horror movie by leaving out the effects. The tension of music, dark setting, building up legends and storytelling, tension, great acting, silence and then sound, filling our minds with anticipation--was cheaper and much much more effective!

The movie, by today's standards, was pretty basic. Yet, it has a lingering haunting effect. There are no over the top insane monsters, CGI effects, grizzly makeup, or ghost rape scenes. It is, quite simply, a very realistic haunting. It might go down in history as the most classic ghost story movie, so if you haven't seen it, please do. 

Trivia: The door that looks like it's "breathing" was a rubber door and stage hands pushed on it from behind.  The movie was filmed in England but supposed to be in New England. As Eleanor drives to the location, a sign along the roadway gives the real location away, "Room for Let, Enquire within."


  1. Lets watch this Saturday night with hot chocolate!

  2. The 63 version was better than the 99 version. I am also reminded of Stephen King's Rose Red.