The Haunting (1999) Movie Review

Some houses should never be visited. And some movies should never be remade. The Haunting represents both of those tenets.

A loose remake of the 1963 Haunting, this version gives us a creepy haunted house and four hapless people to populate it. Chief among them is Eleanor (Taylor), a real wacko who believes there are children's spirits in the house that speak to her. And she's right! Wow, original! And hey kids, the sexy Zeta-Jones plays a bisexual in the movie! Oooooh, scandalous! (Sarcasm, people.)

So how does Jan de Bont, made famous as director of Speed but best-known as the director of Speed 2: Cruise Control, get to make a horror film? He was probably the only sucker in Hollywood desperate enough to take a dog of a film like this. The fact that he's never done a horror flick just compounds the problems.

As a result, The Haunting is not scary -- at all. Instead it's just a conglomeration of cheap fright tactics and a booming bass track meant to get you to jump out of your seat. Which doesn't work.

The Haunting also features such a dumb story line and such bad dialogue it's almost pathetic. For a horror film to be frequently boring is unforgivable. And I wager that anyone who bothers to spend money on this lemon won't be able to forgive themselves either.

A really cool set (that ultimately serves no purpose) is the only shining spot in the film. Otherwise, feel free to skip this one.

Sorry Jan: Strike two.

One door you can safely close.


The Haunting (1999) Rating

" Terrible "

Rating: PG-13, 1999


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