Friday, November 22, 2013

The Haunting (1963)

Today's film is The Haunting.  It was scary but I had a hard time buying the whole premise.  Dr. Markway is supposedly a scientist.  He's researching to prove the existence of the supernatural.  Along with him are Luke, the heir to the house, Theo, a psychic, and Eleanor, whose house experienced poltergeist phenomena.

But he doesn't do any research!  At night, a message appears that directly addresses one of the people in the house, Eleanor.  It says "Help Eleanor Come Home".  It just appears!  This is gold for someone out to prove the existence of the supernatural.  What does Markway do?  Just wipes it away.  Really?  Really? He didn't even take a picture of it.  He didn't take samples of the chalk used to write it.  What was used to write this message?  If it was truly a deceased member of the house, could they match the handwriting to prove it?  Why just wipe it away if your entire point of being there is finding proof of ghosts?

Another thing is the knocking.  Yes, it's spooky, but open the damn door to find out what it is.  Here's what I would do if I were studying a haunted house:

  • put motion cameras (like the kind we use for hunting) in strategic locations
  • take pictures of anything unusual
  • use video and audio recorders whenever necessary
  • take notes on everything

Now there is a theory that the house isn't haunted, but it's Eleanor's untapped psychic powers at work.  She was chosen because stones rained for days at her house.  Some people believe that poltergeists are actually the work of accidental telekinesis.  She's moving the objects with her mind with realizing it.  Since she's already at a stressful part of her life, this is making her even more stressed out because she doesn't understand what's going on.  The other character's back stories aren't explained much at all.  It would have been interesting to learn more about them.  One thing I liked was the filming and the use of camera angles.  It definitely added to the film.  I will give this a 6/10.

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