sThere is a new TV series on Netflix based on Shirley Jackson’s novel The Haunting of Hill House. I’ve watched the first episode and it was good but the 1963 adaptation from director Robert Wise is way way way better.
This movie is fantastic! Dr. John Markway (Richard Johnson) wants to examine a real haunted house. He asks the current owners of Hill House, a notorious house out in the country if he can conduct an experiment on the place to prove that ghosts exist. The owners agree as long as one of the attendees is young nephew Luke Sanderson (Russ Tamblyn). Other members of the experiment include Eleanor “Nell” Lance (Julie Harris) and Theodora “Theo” (Claire Bloom).
Nell arrives first at the house and finds herself drawn into the place. Nell has had some bad experiences and some supernatural occurrences in her past by is trying to make a new life for herself. She soon meets Theo, a psychic and then the handsome Dr. Markway and Luke. The group explore the house and find a cold spot. At night something is banging down the hallways awaking the women.
Nell soon feels the house is watching her. They find writing on a wall with the words ” Help me Eleanor”. Dr. Markway’s wife shows up and demands to sleep in the most haunted room of the house, the nursery. That night more disturbances occur and Mrs. Markway (Lois Maxwell) goes missing. Then things really start to build.
The movie is brilliantly shot. There are effects but they are very low key, most of the terror comes from the sound effects and the shadowy lighting of the movie. I love this movie. It’s really a perfect haunted house movie. There was a crappy remake in the 1990s but it doesn’t hold a candle to the original. Here is my original post.