The Haunting (1963)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBB.5

United Kingdom/USA, 1963Argyle Enterprises.  Screenplay by , based on the novel The Haunting Of Hill House by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by Robert Wise.  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  

Shy, neurotic Julie Harris lives under the thumb of her snotty sister and pushy brother-in-law, escaping them successfully enough to make it to a country estate where she has been invited by a psychiatrist () interested in the paranormal.  Her psychic abilities are paired up with those of a pushy, glamorous ESP-gifted  in the hopes that they will have an encounter with the ghosts that reportedly have been haunting this century-old mansion since a woman committed suicide in it years before.  Johnson locks the doors and turns the lights down low and it is not long before things start going bump in the night; in fact, not much more happens than things going bump in the night in this film, but you have to remember that we’re looking at something that would have been a lot more frightening in the years before a half century of horror movies and thrillers that have followed this delightful chiller’s 1963 release.  That said, it actually has aged extremely well thanks to superb characterizations brought to life by a strong cast, not to mention wonderful set design, moody photography and a strong, memorable ending.  Remade, abysmally, in 1999.

Golden Globe Award Nomination:  Best Director (Robert Wise)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s