Ohhhh yeah, some real SUSPENSE, finally!!
So, this was a CLASSIC example of a movie that could never live up to the book it was based on. But it was an EXCELLENT attempt! I listened to The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson <3 on audio last week, and Sunday we settled in for the movie to compare.
Perhaps I should warn that I didn’t find the book all that scary (SPOILER ALERT) until mental illness hit the scene. Yep, WAY scarier than ghosts! Eeeek. The movie poster above does an amazingly accurate portrayal of poor Eleanor’s mind. Although…in the movie, it wasn’t clear whether Eleanor was really nuts, or if THE HOUSE WAS MAKING HER NUTS. In the book, I kind of assumed it was all her. Heh.
So, freakiest things about the movie: EVERYTHING UNSEEN. There were voices, and noises, and you NEVER saw where they were coming from. LOVE that kind of scary movie! All suggestion, nothing shoved down your throat! It’s a lost art, we all know. Weirdest thing about the movie: A young Russ Tamblyn (Dr. Jacoby from TWIN PEAKS) in the role of Luke. Weird. Worst departure from the book: Dr. Markway and Eleanor’s sexual tension, Theodora being a byotch, Mrs. Markway’s character getting *ruined* (she went from oujia-board wielding nincompoop (sp?) to dry, uninteresting skeptic. Character most TRUE to the book: Mrs. Dudley. "I set out breakfast at nine. I clear up at ten." ROFL.
Scary Movie Rating: B+. Not sweating-screaming-hiding-under-blankets scary, but definitely caused a few jumps! And in 1963, probably caused more than a few NIGHTMARES. Overall, a MUST for the classic scary catalogue.
Ok, so we’ve worked our way up to THE REAL THING! Next movie up: Phenomena by Dario Argento. OH GOD /INSECTS\ I DON’T KNOW IF I CAN TAKE IT. *SHUDDER*