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The Haunting Review

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by AVForums Feb 1, 2001

    The Haunting Review
    Back in 1963 director Robert Wise presented cinema goers with an adaptation of Shirley Jackson's novel The House on Haunted Hill. Reminiscent of the old RKO movies, which circumvented the censorship of the time by relying on the ability to imply far more than they could ever show, Wise's film is a masterpiece of audience manipulation, crafting a nightmarish experience without ever showing the audience a single glimpse of the terror actually haunting the protagonists.
    Skip forward to 1999 and we have a remake of the classic film with Twister director Jan De Bont at the helm. Would he manage to rein in his seeming desire for showing the audience everything in order to create a similar work of cinematic genius? Would he, balls. De Bont's movie is an ideal example of lousy script writing and, worst of all, an over-reliance on CGI effects. Dr. Marrow (Neeson) lures three test subjects to a deserted house with a dark history to study the effects of fear on the human psyche. Before the first night is over, a presence in the building thrusts the bumbling trio into a world of really, really bad CGI effects which absolute fail to send a shiver down the spine.
    Uninspired direction, dire acting, an obvious script - this really is a load of old ghoulies.