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Scott Ventura >> Movie Commentary >> July 1999 >> The Haunting

The Haunting

Movie Commentary by Scott Ventura


Scott's Rating:
2 / 5
Times Seen:
Viewing Date:
July 1999
IMDB Name:
Haunting, The (1999)
Jan de Bont
MPAA Rating:
PG-13 for intense horror sequences.

In the House

The Haunting offers the audience a creepy house, but not necessarily in the ways you'd expect. The setting is spooky, but doesn't hold a candle to the sound. Expert sound designer Gary Rydstrom, whose previous credits include A Bug's Life, Jurassic Park, and Terminator 2, has done it once again. The sound takes advantage of the human imagination. There is nothing that can be shown that will be scarier than what the brain can conjure, and clever audio gets the conjuring moving.


Lili Taylor was great as the guest star of a fifth-season episode of "The X Files", but she can't carry a movie like this. Catherine Zeta-Jones may be hotter than a habañero, but her character is too cartoonishly written. Let's face it, the house is the best thing in the movie, with more intrigue, mystery, and creativity than any human character. It's even more expressive than the humans some of the time!

Happy Ending? Spoiler!

I always thought that horror movies left the possibility of the scary thing returning in a sequel. There's no chance of that here. I guess that's something to be thankful of, given the quality of most sequels. It's particularly lame that the heroine (if you can consider her that) has to bite it in the end to ward off the evil spirit.

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Copyright 1999-2001 by Scott Ventura. All rights reserved.