Dreadful Things
The Haunting


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1963  Dir: Robert Wise.  With: Julie Harris, Claire Bloom, Russ Tamblyn, Richard Johnson.

Forget the remake with the then future Mrs Douglas and co.  If you've only seen that version then you really have to check out this original black and white version from the sixties.  It's the definite version, especially if viewed late at night.  This is a truly scary movie and doesn't rely on any special effects, as does its predecessor.

Based on the novel, The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson, it tells the story of four people who spend the weekend at the supposedly haunted, Hill House.  These are a parapsychologist, Dr Richard Markway (Richard Johnson) Luke (Russ Tamblyn) the sceptical heir, and two women: the lesbian psychic, Theo (Claire Bloome Catherine Zeta Jones in the remake) and the repressed, dithering soul, Eleanor (Julie Harris)

This film has several genuine unsettling moments, especially the ghostly banging outside Eleanor and Theo's room.

So think on, If you're awoken by a banging in the middle of the night - it's either the next-door neighbours getting a bit randy, or an age-old vengeful ghost!

The fact that you never actually see anything only adds to the chills, you come away from the movie watching every shadow and fearing every sound you hear in the darkness.