The Haunting, directed by Jan De Bont, should not be confused with The Haunting (1963-Robert Wise), although it shares the same underlying lit, but is not based upon that earlier film.
Nor with The Haunting of Hill House, the 9-hour+ mini-series that ran on Netflix in 2018, and which is based upon the same underlying lit by Shirley Jackson.
We’re told that Mr. De Bont’s version stars Liam Neeson, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Owen Wilson, but that seems more foreign sales and contractually oriented than real, as the film belongs to Lili Taylor, who now basically inhabits the role played by Julie Harris in Mr. Wise’s version, ie the sensitive character, albeit a very different set-up.
Thespians aside, the real star here, and probably the most important reason to own the film, is that haunted house. A bit larger than a domestic split, actually.
The basis of the old mansion is actually a bit larger than one’s normal mansion as we might know it.
Think Belvoir Castle. You can see it here: https://www.belvoircastle.com
The overall production design of the film, by Eugenio Zanetti, initially reminded me of the interiors of the alien craft in Alien. Huge, overbearing, over-decorated, and probably not a place one would like to heat.
Shot on both 35/4 as well as VVLA for effects (35/8), it’s those sets that steal the show.
Paramount’s new Blu-ray, and I’m now wishing it was 4k is a magnificent affair, almost taking on the parameters of what one might expect from an HDR experience, with audio presented here in 5.1 Dolby TrueHD.
An extraordinarily recorded track that is certain to clean any lint from one’s speakers. Low frequency is room-filling.
On Blu-ray for the first time, and a film that seems to have grown better with a bit of bottle age.
Image – 5
Audio – 5
Pass / Fail – Pass
Upgrade from DVD – Absolutely