THE HAUNTING (1999)

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Christopher

This movie was fun to watch but mostly just to finally watch it than anything else. It wasn’t particularly scary but I can see myself thinking it would be in high school. I have seen the original so after watching this, I would say that I still like that more, but there were a lot of people in this movie. I’m surprised it isn’t a little better.

Elizabeth (spoilers!)

I was kind of obsessed with The Haunting when it first came out, probably because it was a scary movie that was not rated R. And I did think it was scary! Watching it again, I’m not sure if scary is exactly the right word for it. But I definitely do still think it’s weird and creepy.

Like other horror movies, it was harder for me this time around to ignore some of the obvious the-problem-would-be-solved-if-they-just-did-this-one-thing stuff. Like how all of the characters are in an old mansion with old caretakers, who lock the gates at night before they leave but do not leave any of the characters a key. They’re supposed to be isolated because of a study they’re doing, but why wouldn’t they have a key for emergencies? I know that hauntings aren’t real, but I feel like a horror movie could make them feel more real-ish if they didn’t have elements that would never happen in normal life, like letting yourself be locked inside a giant mansion.

When I first saw this, Luke (Owen Wilson) was my favorite character and watching it again, he still is. He manages to be a good comic relief without being disposable . . . even though he’s the first (and only one of two) character to die via decapitation by a giant swinging sculpture inside a giant flue. That’s kind of a bummer. After I first saw this movie, I also read the book because I couldn’t get enough of the story. And I was severely disappointed. My main complaint with it was that I didn’t find it the least bit scary, only barely creepy at some parts. But now I wonder if it was just more subtle than I was giving it credit for, because Shirley Jackson wrote some creepy shit.

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