Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.
USA, 1999. DreamWorks, Roth-Arnold Productions. Screenplay by David Self, based on the novel The Haunting Of Hill House by Shirley Jackson. Cinematography by Karl Walter Lindenlaub. Produced by Susan Arnold, Donna Roth, Colin Wilson. Music by Jerry Goldsmith. Production Design by Eugenio Zanetti. Costume Design by Ellen Mirojnick. Film Editing by Michael Kahn.
Lame horror film that offers tons more bore than gore. A group of randomly assorted people are drawn to a giant mansion in the middle of the night in order to have their sleeping habits studied by a research scientist (Liam Neeson). Little do they know they’ll be getting little work done thanks to the many restless spirits abiding in the manor. Lili Taylor does a great job in the lead as a woman worn out from taking care of her sick mother and being screwed over by her sister out of the family inheritance, but she, like the rest of the cast, looks extremely embarrassed to be in this movie. Owen Wilson as the blonde geek and Catherine Zeta-Jones as the ‘exciting’ bisexual are meant to make the film more colourful, but nothing gets around the fact that the story is dull, the dialogue laughable and the direction by Jan de Bont is far too heavy for this material. Neeson looks like he’s in a rush to get off the screen in the hopes that no one will remember him being in it.