Haunting, The (1963)
Hill House is supposed to be haunted. In its 90 year old history, it’s known its share of killings, suicides, accidents, insanity and scandals. Dr. Markway (Johnson) therefor finds it the best place to investigate (and proove) the existence of ghosts. He asks a couple of carefully selected test persons to join him at the house but of all of them, only two actually come: Eleanor (Harris) and Theo (Bloom). Together with Dr. Markway and the owner’s nephew Luke, they will spend a couple of nights in the house to see whether the stories about the haunting are true. It doesn’t take too long before they realise they might have gotten themselves into something worse than they expected…
Sound and Vision:
This movie was made in 1963 and thus isn’t Jan De Bont’s remake but the real original “Haunting”. It’s in black and white so we can’t say anything about the color use, but what we can say is that the transfer has been done really well. There are some minor scratches and dust on the film but there’s hardly any grain and the level of detail and depth of black are extremely good while grain is almost completely banished.
The soundtrack is in the original mono format and sounds pretty understandable without cracks or disturbing noises. Still, a 1.0 track doesn’t really add to the atmosphere and sounds rather limited.
We get an audio commentary track where the main cast, director and script writer have quite a lot to say after which we can check out a stills gallery and the obligatory trailer.
The Haunting doesn’t have the special effects like the remake but gets its kicks more out of the things you don’t see. This movie still shows that suggestion can prove to be a better scare than plain visual effects and by this I want to say that although being very old, The Haunting still rocks!