Wednesday, October 17, 2018

My Classic Movie Essentials - The Haunting (1963)

Setting: A creepy old house in Massachusetts

Dr. John Markway - Richard Johnson
Eleanor "Nell" Vance - Julie Harris
Theodora "Theo" - Claire Bloom
Luke Sanderson - Russ Tamblyn
Mrs. Dudley - Rosalie Crutchley

Premise:  3 strangers spend several days in a seriously creepy haunted house as part of an experiment led by a doctor who is studying paranormal activity.  

My Thoughts:   This is one of those movies that starts out a bit slow and the creepiness just slowly builds and builds until you realize you're sitting all tensed up clutching your hands.   Then there is the brief scenes with Mrs. Dudley of the "No one can hear you if you scream in the dark" line.  Really she could give Rebecca's Mrs. Danvers a run for her money in terms of ominous behavior.  

While the book really focuses on the psychological terror as the reader for the most part sees things through Nell's thoughts the movie has some extra flash.  I think they did a good job adding in fear without going completely over the top and the additions they made to the movie made sense and didn't change the tone of the story.  This is a great movie for this time of year - especially if you don't love super scary movies.  There's a big helping of creepiness and jump moments but no gore which I really enjoyed.

What Makes This Movie Essential:  I don't really think this is necessarily the most essential scary movie but it's definitely one that has stuck with me the most.  I will never ever be able to sleep with a hand or foot not covered by blankets thinks to this movie!

Read Alike -  Well obviously The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson.  While the book and the movie have quite a number of similarities the perspective is so different that I think they'd be interesting read and watched in the same time span.


  1. I tend to avoid scary movies, which is weird since I like a little bit of spookiness this time of year (maybe I like it more in books haha) but this does sound like a good creepy movie!

  2. I think I've watched an updated version of this one that stars Liam Neeson maybe? Not sure. I do know that there is a new Netflix adaptation of The Haunting of Hill House. My husband is not a scary movie fan, so I tend to watch these types of movies alone. And as to the foot or hand outside the covers, Stephen King cured me of that notion. Ha!

  3. I don't think I've ever seen this movie.

  4. I've never read the book, but I do remember seeing the movie back in the day. Of course, that w3as the time I was into scary movies all the time. These days, definitely not so much(lol) Hugs...RO

  5. I haven't seen this one. This is the perfect time of year to watch something like this. I will have to look for it.

  6. I haven't watched a lot of old horror movies to be honest. I tend to like the up to date gory slasher type of film best!

  7. I loved both of these movies, but maybe this older one a little more. I haven't read the book, I should! 👻