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Good idea gone sour by poor production values, but amazingly it comes out on top....

  • Dec 24, 2009
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While clunky, misguided  and at sometimes  overblown Jan de Bont's "The Haunting"  somehow works despite major flaws and comes out on top to be  terrifying and mysterious. But what amazed me the most about this film was it's  amazing visuals and  little ques to old school horror classics  like "House on the Haunted Hill"(1959),  The original  Robert Wise directed "The Haunting"(1963), which inspired this remake, and "House of Wax"(1953). But what really makes this  horror flick  enjoyable  is  how  effective it is at being good and at being  so bad  it's good  at the same time, "The Haunting"  works.

 It's not as great as the original  horror machine that inspired it, but this 1999 remake of the Robert Wise classic does give you some efficient thrills and chills for your money. But the awkward  preformances  from the supporting cast(Wilson, Taylor and Zeta-Jones) may disenchant you  and make  you believe less and less that this  is a straight out horror film  and not a horror comedy. Which is what many will believe at first but then  be reassured by the terrifying visuals and   the jump out at you  moments. "The Haunting" is not a great in the genre  but it does  have it's enjoyable  quirks  and charms to it, and while the story  is  intriguing and the plot somewhat solid but this film  relies more  visual thrills  than actual horror effects  which is  good and all   but   that doesn't  make it a true to blue classic.

Lili Taylor(Who I don't like for good reasons)  is the major eyesore in this picture with her very poor performance and   overacting. Taylor tries and fails miserably to  give a strong   and worthy performance  but all we get instead  is her  mousy  little  girls voice  yelling at ghoulish figurines  and looking not so scared Taylor is a waste in this and  woefully miscast in a role that should have gone to a stronger actress. Cathrine Zeta-Jones  is alright, but much like Taylor  her amazing talent is squandered  here. But there are some parts that  Zeta-Jones really shines and that  I will give her credit for.  Owen  Wilson,an amazing comedian  but not so much an amazing horror star,  is  the second  eyesore in this  horror flick  but not as much as Taylor  which is good , and then it's not. Wilson is good at comedy and dramedies but horror isn't  a field he's very well suited for and ti shows  in  his performance. But Wilson isn't a total loss and that saves him from being  a casualty  of  miscasting.  Liam Neeson is the savior of this film and   the only perfect casting  out of the rest  Neeson  is high class in this and really raises the bar for this film bringing up from corny to  worthwhile.  The cast, well most of them, is woefully miscast and  drag along   at some points through out  the film but for the most part  they do there jobs  and make this a very enjoyable  and sometimes chilling thrill ride.

It's not great, it's not bad, it's not a total  waste of time but it could have been majorly better than what it was. But I will say this on it's behalf  it is enjoyable and   it  does give you what you  want and  then at sometimes it doesn't . But "The Haunting" is efficient  horror machine and   may not make any top ten list  but it sure will entertain and  thrill.
Good idea gone sour by poor production values, but amazingly it comes out on top....

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C.R. Lopez ()
Ranked #36
Member Since: Nov 6, 2009
Last Login: Jul 7, 2012 09:53 PM UTC
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About this movie



Genre: Horror, Action, Adventure
Release Date: July 23, 1999
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 1hr 52min
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