Three insomniacs are recruited to take part in a sleep study by Dr. Marrow (Liam Neeson). However, Dr. Marrow’s real motivation for bringing the three to Hill House soon becomes clear, when the house begins to react to their presence.
There are a lot of things I don’t understand about The Haunting. First and foremost, is why they put so much time and effort into putting together one of the most beautiful sets I can remember seeing in a horror movie, just to make such a silly movie. Hell, even the tagline makes no sense. “Some houses are born bad”? No they’re not; they’re built. And it’s not even the house itself that’s bad. Did whoever wrote that tagline even watch the movie?!
I could pick away at the many failings of this movie, but instead I’m just going to share some of my notes with you, in the order I wrote them:
– Is this really late 90’s hair? It looks more like 80’s hair.
– “You don’t tell the rats they’re actually in a maze…” – and this is why we can’t have nice things.
– I’m pretty sure the housekeeper is a serial killer (note: a later addition just above this reads “or a robot??”). Why else would she talk like that? Is she secretly Riff Raff?
– There are some major sapphic undertones here. In fact, I’m not even sure they’re undertones.
– Nell (Lili Taylor) may match the housekeeper in terms of that ‘serial killer’ vibe. Was this an intentional choice, or is that just her acting?
– Hmm, I guess it is late 90’s hair. I just realised that they’d fit in fine on Friends.
– Catherine Zeta-Jones is great at sultry. And nothing else.
– CGI sure has come a long way since 1999.
– Owen Wilson is playing Owen Wilson. I’m not sure I like Owen Wilson.
– Okay, Catherine Zeta-Jones is also good at wearing clothes. Except for that fur jacket, which is the scariest thing in this movie.
– Why would…no. Just: why? None of this makes sense.
– This house is so cool, if you’re okay with it wanting to kill you and all.
– WHY DID THAT HAPPEN? And how come…I mean…why did they even bother…ugh.
– Sarcasm is not the appropriate way to greet people who are clearly traumatised. Unless you’re a serial killer (or robot).
So, yeah. The Haunting! The set is pretty great.