Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Review on The Haunting 1963

Review on The Haunting 1963

The Haunting

No ghosts are actually seen in this film, but there is suspense in it, like the build up of the disturbing loud banging noses and twisting door knobs. There is a lot of suspense build up to nothing, such as the sounds of something trying to come in through the bedroom door and then it ends with the entity leaving. A review on Variety also agrees 'Gidding's scenario is opaque in spots, but its cardinal flaw is one of failure to follow through on its thematic motivation. After elaborately setting the audience up in anticipation of drawing some scientific conclusions about the psychic phenomena field, the film completely dodges the issue in settling for a half-hearted melodramatic climax.' (Variety, 1962) All the sounds and eerie atmosphere of the house are what makes this film work, if there was a ghost that was seen it may break away from the disturbing feel of the film. It leaves it up to the viewers imagination to create a scary theme. This is mentioned on Film4. 'The success of this spooky movie is in what it leaves to our imagination. Sure, things do go bump in the night but we never see them.' (Film4, 1963) The viewer can also relate to the strange happenings seen in this film with the banging sounds, random pockets of cold air in the house and doors opening on their own with a paranormal experience of their own.

 The Spiral Stairwell

The film has a slow start to it with too much introduction to the characters, but when the characters get to the house that's when the film starts to pick up. The main character of the film is neither any of the people, but the house. Its almost as if its alive and tormenting its inhabitants with constant fear of paranormal activity. Almar Haflidason mentions this in a 2000 review on BBC 'But stick with it because the star of the film is undoubtedly the house, and once inside it begins not only to haunt the characters but the viewer too.' (Haflidason, 2000)   

 Hill House

List of Illustrations
Figure 1. Robert Wise (1963) The Haunting [Screen Cap] At: http://iknowchicken.com/?p=97 (Accessed on: 30.11.2010)
Figure 2. Robert Wise (1963) The Spiral Stairwell [Screen Cap] At: http://staticmass.net/features/the-haunting-1963/ (Accessed on: 30.11.2010)
Figure 3. Robert Wise (1963) Hill House [Screen Cap] At: http://www.shadowlocked.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=441&catid=70&Itemid=72 (Accessed on : 30.11.2010)
Film4 (1963) The Haunting http://www.film4.com/reviews/1963/the-haunting (Accessed on: 30.11.2010)
Haflidason, Almar (2000) The Haunting (1963) http://www.bbc.co.uk/films/2000/12/12/the_haunting_1963_review.shtml (Accessed on: 30.11.2010)
Variety (1962) The Haunting. http://www.variety.com/review/VE1117791529?refcatid=31 (Accessed on: 30.11.2010)


  1. Great to see the bibliography and illustration lists being used - but you're not using the Harvard Method correctly; following the quote, in round brackets, you use the surname of the author and the date of the article - so (Haflidason, 2000) - which then relates to the full details in the bibliography.