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Robert Harris

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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

Highly Recommended

RAH


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Dick

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I intensely disliked this film, despite a terrific cast and nice Goldsmith score. As a "remake" of the 1963 original, it is a travesty. Taken on it's own sans that comparison, it is one of the best examples of special effects taking over story and performances completely.
 

Colin Jacobson

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I liked this movie in a moderate way 21 years ago but found myself less enchanted when I watched the new BD a week or so ago.

It was always a silly movie, but one I kinda enjoyed. Now?
:emoji_sleeping:
 

Robert Harris

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I intensely disliked this film, despite a terrific cast and nice Goldsmith score. As a "remake" of the 1963 original, it is a travesty. Taken on it's own sans that comparison, it is one of the best examples of special effects taking over story and performances completely.
It is not a re-make of the 1963 film.
 

Billy Batson

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Well I think it's a fun film, & what an amazing production design! I like both the b/w sixties film (which I was just too young to see at the cinema), & this one. Of course with this film, it's all in your face special effects, no subtlety, but that's cinema now, it's all show don't tell, especially on a film with a huge budget. I'm happy to have it on blu-ray.
 

Johnny Angell

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Well I think it's a fun film, & what an amazing production design! I like both the b/w sixties film (which I was just too young to see at the cinema), & this one. Of course with this film, it's all in your face special effects, no subtlety, but that's cinema now, it's all show don't tell, especially on a film with a huge budget. I'm happy to have it on blu-ray.
If Wise’s film were released today (ignore covid) it would probably bomb at the BO. Just too subtle.
 

Dick

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It is not a re-make of the 1963 film.

I guess I'd have to disagree, Robert. The whole first half is very similar in terms of plot points and characters. When it departs from the original (and book) is in the second half, when it goes off the rails into La La Land. Oh, and the reason for Neeson's bringing these people together in the house is slightly modified from 1963. And the still-inferred lesbian aspect of the two women is a bit more conspicuous.

What is your definition of "remake?"

But, okay, call it a "reimagining." :)
 

Robert Harris

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I guess I'd have to disagree, Robert. The whole first half is very similar in terms of plot points and characters. When it departs from the original (and book) is in the second half, when it goes off the rails into La La Land. Oh, and the reason for Neeson's bringing these people together in the house is slightly modified from 1963. And the still-inferred lesbian aspect of the two women is a bit more conspicuous.

What is your definition of "remake?"

But, okay, call it a "reimagining." :)

I don’t believe they had the rights to use elements of the ‘63.
 

mackjay

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I found the first half of this movie to be surprisingly good. Atmospheric, and involving, at least partly due to Lily Taylor's terrific performance. As others say, it goes off the rails and into clichéd territory later and I left feeling let down.
 

JimJasper

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Adored the 1963 version...which strangely felt more "real." ....the 1999 version, I thought was a fun effort....ending felt forced....when folks say they intensely hated it, one groans at that over-reaction.
 

bigshot

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I'm thinking that the new Netflix Haunting of Bly House is to Jack Clayton's The Innocents as this Haunting remake is to Wise's version. Shifted emphasis to all the wrong things.
 

Dick

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If Wise’s film were released today (ignore covid) it would probably bomb at the BO. Just too subtle.

Yes, thanks to the dumbing-down of American audiences. Overseas, it might be popular all over again. Other countries can actually handle subtlety. I absolutely treasure it.
 

Robert Harris

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The DTS-ES Discrete 6.1 track on the DVD was INTENSE! The bass would bring most subs to their knees like Blade Runner 2049 or Inception. Too bad they didn't base the Blu-ray track off that.
There is nothing wrong with the 5.1 track.
 
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Terrible movie. For a haunted house movie, I'll stick with the original 1979 "Amityville Horror", 1982 "Amityville 2: The possession" and 1980 "The Changeling"
 

Tino

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My iTunes copy that I paid $4.99 for upgraded to 4K/Dolby Vision yesterday.
 

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