haunting, teDreamworks
1999
PG-13

“Purgatory is over, you go to hell.”

When Eleanor, Theo, and Luke decide to take part in a sleep study at a huge mansion they get more than they bargained for when Dr. Marrow tells them of the house’s ghostly past.

Okay, let’s get this review over with.

This remake of the 1963 movie – that was in turn based on the Shirley Jackson novel The Haunting Of Hill House – is a perfect example of how having advanced CGI technology or a top cast of actors doesn’t mean the movie is going to be better. In the case of 1999’s The Haunting, it means the exact opposite of good.

I watched The Haunting in the local second-run theater, in the late fall of 1999.  Paid a dollar to watch the movie.  Even then, I felt ripped off.  Whereas the original movie was an effective less-is-more psychological gothic horror flick that worked because of the characterization, filming style and overall atmospherics, the 1999 version goes the opposite route, giving us an overlong movie that’s heavy on CG visuals, ham-fisted acting, and flat characters.  The outcome is a modernized movie that is very short on actual scares, atmospherics, or any sense of caring about anything this movie offers.  The story is just a convoluted mess.  Long, boring and completely irrelevant, the only way The Haunting could be topped with its badness is if they re-remade it as a found footage movie.  Do yourselves a favor and rent the far superior 1963 original instead.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go flush the memory of this movie out of my head.

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