Ugh, God, one of the worst horror remakes I’ve ever seen. I remember I saw it on a Friday night with a friend, we were both hammered and thus easily entertained, but the movie did nothing for us. The audience was sniggering openly at some of the bad CGI, the only jump was a fake one, about the only thing that roused us from our coma was Owen Wilson suddenly being decapitated. Terrible. TERRIBLE! I think that the director Jan De Bont sort of tried, but he was wrong for the project. I’m trying to think of a horror movie he made that I loved and coming up empty, but in all fairness, if I think of one I’ll come back and update this.
If you want a blast from the past, I found the my original review from IMDB. Movies cost SEVEN DOLLARS at the time, and now I feel 150 years old. However, I still stand by my review dated July 1999. Here it is, unedited:
The original was better. I mean WAY better. I already had a lot of respect for the original as a neat little 60’s horror flick but this movie made it look even better in comparison. Why didn’t they leave it alone? It didn’t help that the original was a classic. But they messed up here. I hardly ever say this, but the effects were overdone–they didn’t make up for the putrid script or lack of scares. There was only one moment when I jumped and that was because everyone else in the theater screamed and scared me. Plenty of people were laughing at parts that were not supposed to be funny–not a good sign. There was just no excuse for the amazingly stupid line, “It’s about family!” which would make you wince under any circumstances but came at what was supposed to be the climax of the film. The house is supposed to look old, but it is so obvious that it was just created by a set designer or is CGI. Really not very scary. The sound was good, I’ll give it that, but that was about it. The writers obviously just threw in Theo’s character being bisexual because they knew the guys who think Zeta-Jones is hot would get off on it–unlike the novel, where there is a point to it. Really, see a matinée–if you really MUST see it, that is, which I do not recommend–and see it while the theaters are still packed, which makes it more of a thrill ride. All the so-called ‘scares’ and CGI in this film put together do not even measure up to be 10% as scary as the scene in the original where Nell thinks Theo is holding her hand in bed but turns on the light to see her friend across the room, who had been asleep in her own bed. I had a bad feeling about this movie when I saw the trailer months ago that featured the tagline “Some Houses Are Born Bad”. Should have stuck with my original instincts on this one and saved my time and my 7+ bucks. Do yourself a favor and rent the original instead. (The End)
Cover of The Haunting
The original, now THAT is a scary movie. We were assigned Shirley Jackson‘s novel to read in sixth grade and I remember it frightened me to the point where I lost sleep. Click the link below OR the photo to read an extremely funny Rod Hilton abridged version. It’s a way better use of your time than seeing the weak remake.
The Haunting: The Abridged Script | The Editing Room.