Monday, October 27, 2008

The Haunting

Happy Halloween! Assuming I can find the time, I'll try to post bits of my favorite Halloween movies all this week.

There's a truly dreadful remake of this movie that came out a few years back, but ignore it. The original 1963 version is wonderful. Lotsa lesbian subtext in both versions (and in the novel). If you're into that kinda thing.

The source material is Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House, a really good, really scary read. Here's the first paragraph:

"No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality; even larks and katydids are supposed, by some, to dream. Hill House, not sane, stood by itself against its hills, holding darkness within; it had stood so for eighty years and might stand for eighty more. Within, walls continued upright, bricks met neatly, floors were firm, and doors were sensibly shut; silence lay steadily against the wood and stone of Hill House, and whatever walked there, walked alone."

I love that "not sane," hiding in the second sentence. So understated, and thus so effective.


Noel said...

I LOVED The Haunting of Hill House. I also enjoyed the b&w version of the movie. The remake was less suspenseful.

I find that older horror movies are more terrifying because they do intend to creep you out as opposed to today's standard that just want to gore/freak you out.

You, being the collective audience.

Hilary said...

This movie and The Birds both creeped me out as a kid. I remember far more about the latter though. Maybe it's time to see this one again.

Clowncar said...

Yep. The Haunting, The Innocents. The only recent movie that really creeped me out was The Ring. It was SO SCARY. Plus I thought there were some serious ideas floating around in that movie, about how ancient forms come bubbling up through modern technology.

I had forgotten about The Birds, Hil. That movie rocks. I love how it ends (or rather doesn't end).