The Haunting (1963/1999)

D: Robert Wise
MGM/Argyle (Robert Wise)
US/UK 1963
112 mins
W: Nelson Gidding [based on the novel "The Haunting Of Hill House" by Shirley Jackson]
DP: Davis Boulton
Ed: Ernest Walter
Mus: Humphrey Searle
PD: Elliot Scott
Julie Harris (Eleanor Vance), Claire Bloom (Theodora), Richard Johnson (Dr. John Markway), Russ Tamblyn (Luke Sanderson), Lois Maxwell (Grace Markway), Fay Compton (Mrs. Sanderson), Valentine Dyall (Mr. Dudley)
A group of scientists experience eerie occurrences when they spend a weekend in a haunted mansion.
Far from the most original horror movie ever brought to screen but a fantastic example that atmosphere is more effective than visual effects trickery and grotesque makeup in a scary movie. A shame that the 1999 remake didn't follow the same suit.

The cast of The Haunting
The cast of The Haunting

Some houses are born bad
Some houses are born bad
D: Jan de Bont
Dreamworks (Susan Arnold, Donna Arkoff Roth & Colin Wilson)
US 1999
113 mins


W: David Self [based on the novel "The Haunting Of Hill House" by Shirley Jackson]
DP: Karl Walter Lindenlaub
Ed: Michael Kahn
Mus: Jerry Goldsmith
PD: Dean Tavoularis

Liam Neeson (Dr. David Marrow), Lili Taylor (Eleanor Vance), Catherine Zeta-Jones (Theodora), Owen Wilson (Luke Sanderson), Bruce Dern (Mr. Dudley)             

Remake of the 1963 film which seems more focused on expensive (and rather ropey) visual effects than on a story & screenplay which makes any sense.
A perfect example of the contrast between the two films comes in a scene where, in the original film, two female characters are having a conversation while holding hands with each other for comfort in the dark creepy house, only for it to be revealed that the two women are the distance of an entire room apart, Julie Harris uttering the creepy dialogue "But... You were holding my hand." In this remake, this scene is replaced by Lili Taylor being launched across the room by an unseen, supernatural force, only to repeat the same line of dialogue. Awful!
The script, direction and all performances are atrocious, with a pathetic insinuation thrown in that Catherine Zeta-Jones' character is a lesbian, for no reason whatsoever. 
A serious contender for one of the worst remakes ever made.

The Haunting
The Haunting