The Haunting – UK, 1963

The Haunting is a 1963 British psychological horror film directed by American Robert Wise (Audrey Rose) and adapted by Nelson Gidding from the novel The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson.

It stars Julie Harris, Claire Bloom, Richard Johnson (The Monster ClubZombie Flesh Eaters); Beyond the Door), Russ Tamblyn and Valentine Dyall (City of the Dead). The film revolves around the conflict between a team of paranormal investigators and the house in which they spend several nights. It was remade in 1999.

Reviews:

“We are treated to a flood of reaction shots from the actors so that we can clearly see how scared they are. We only get one special effect toward the end of the 2nd act, but the buildup surrounding it makes it all the more terrifying. And other than some schizoid cinematography, there are no other special effects for the rest of the film, but you’re already in such a terrified state that you don’t care.” Alexander Vornoff, The Pitt and the Pendulum

the haunting 1963 blu-ray

Buy: Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk

The Haunting relies on precise and unsettling compositions, low angles and unexpected camera moves. Wise shot very little additional coverage, editing in his head and checking dailies as he went, a life-long habit retained from his early days as a film editor. Warner’s 2003 DVD of this MGM film wasn’t bad, but this 1080p, AVC-encoded Blu-ray improves on it in every respect.” Michael Rueben, Blu-ray.com

Novel re-issue to tie-in with the film’s release:

haunting of hill house shirley jackson pulp paperback novel cover

Cast and characters:

  • Julie Harris as Eleanor “Nell” Lance
  • Claire Bloom as Theodora “Theo”
  • Richard Johnson as Dr. John Markway
  • Russ Tamblyn as Luke Sanderson
  • Fay Compton as Mrs. Sanderson
  • Rosalie Crutchley as Mrs. Dudley
  • Lois Maxwell as Grace Markway
  • Valentine Dyall as Mr. Dudley
  • Diane Clare as Carrie Fredericks
  • Ronald Adam as Eldridge Harper

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