So of all the things I could have used to try and kickstart things again, why this? Because I was watching it again the other night after an interval of years, and man—I’d almost forgotten how craptacular it is. And because as I was watching, I started captioning things in my head, which is usually a good sign.

THE HAUNTING (1999)

In which Jan de Bont and David Self teach us all new appreciation for Robert Wise’s 1960 adaptation of Shirley Jackson’s seminal horror novel by botching every one of its set-pieces. In which a subtle tale of psychological horror becomes the $80 million equivalent of trying to frighten someone by blowing up a paper bag and bursting it behind them.

In which we learn that 19th century architects never argued with their clients, that decapitations don’t bleed, that a dead child in your bed is nothing to get worked up about, and that the best way to rid your house of an evil spirit is by yelling at it.

Oh – and that scientists are unethical. Big surprise.



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