Tuesday, 30 November 2010

The Haunted Review.

The Haunting


The Haunting is a 1960s horror film directed by Robert Wise and is considered he "little old woman" of the horror film genre. It is a very suggestive film about the study of paranormal activity in a haunted house.

First thing I would note about the film surprisingly is the music used, which is what I liked most about The Haunting. Being a suggestive film (like Cat People, which Wise also has credit for) music is a heavily reliant factor when trying to build an eerie atmosphere, along with the creepy looking house etc. It is very dramatic when need be and definately builds tension in the scary scenes.

[2]The Haunting (1963), Eleanor & Theo

The films characterization is quite varied aswell, each character invokes an intriguing personality but they work together in an odd but successful thematic way. Dr Markway fell for Nell during his study of the house, but didn't make it completely clear. Nell seems to realise this however but never is there a scene of them giving in to eachother, especially after Markways wife turns up to stay at the house.[1] "Theo is an artist and a psychic, and is instantly drawn to the fragile Nell – it’s strongly suggested that she’s a lesbian/bisexual — a fact that is backed up by the sexual tension between her and Nell." (Voodoun Romance, 2010) I also picked up on that wierd relation between Theo and Nell, they always sleep in the same room and Theo is quite "touchy" with Nell and always instigates those situations, Nell however seems oblivious to this. Luke is an arrogant playboy, but is easygoing and likable enough. Mrs Markway is also a bit arrogant but shes not around that long and her role changes towards the end. Dr Markway is the leading figure of the group and holds them together. Overall the acting is quite solid.

[3]The Haunting, 1963, Hill House

Hill House is the main attraction of the film ofcourse, with its cold eerie corridors, organic structure and spooky noises at night. [2]"A particularly interesting aspect of the film is that Hill House can be regarded as a character. It has its own wants and needs, and is an entirely foreboding figure, illustrated even more so by Humphrey Searle’s fearsome instrumental score (even if it is, admittedly, a little overdramatic at times)" (Voodoun Romance, 2010)..This statement can be backed up by the scene where Nell is looking at and reffering to the house saying "he wants me", which is then followed up by quick shots of the empty dark windows and then the door almost as if we are identifying a face. Also in some of the banging crashing scenes in the night you hear a ghostly voice talk to Nell and at one point we see an actual ghost when shes at the top of the spiral staircase.

[4]The Haunting, 1963, Dr Markway & Nell on staircase

The films visual quality is quite good and very effective in black and white, probably more so then if it had been in colour. A downside is that everything seemed to be in the same focus so there was no real sense of depth i.e when looking down long corridors. Also, for a film with the name "The Haunting" you would expect a more horrifying film, this film resides more in a dramatic love drama genre. [3] This is really a film about relationships and the complex triangle (which at various times becomes a weak quadrangle) between Theodora, Eleanor and Dr. Markway (Sponseller, 2001), this is really what the film is about.

Illustration List:

[1] The Haunting, 1963, The Haunting(1963). [electronic print] Available at:

[2] The Haunting, 1963, Eleanor & Theo. [electronic print] Available at:

[3] The Haunting, 1963, Hill House. [electronic print] Available at:

[4] The Haunting, 1963, Dr Markway & Nell on staircase [electronic print] Available at:


[1][2] Voodoun Romance, 2010, Fatally Yours for the love of horrors. [online] Available at:

[3] Brandt Sponseller, 2001, Classic-Horror.com. [online] Available at:


  1. GREAT GREAT GREAT! It's so good to see you get your bibliography and illustration list going on - and your review is insightful - I too think it's a film about relationships - and loneliness and the need to belong. None of the characters are very sympathetic, really - and there's all these sparks and sexual tension that is never really explained. In this sense the film is ambiguous and brittle and shrill. (A bit talky however!)

    Just one picky detail - you're not using the Harvard Method correctly for your quotes from websites:

    Author of website or document [surname] + Date of website or document - and you put it all in round brackets

    So this would be cited in your text as; (Sponseller, 2001) directly after the quote.

  2. Oh alright, I was reading a guide on the Harvard method when I was writing this, theres a few ways showing how to reference the same thing. I'll change this now though thanks for the heads up.

  3. Sean - 'Fatally-yours' isn't the author, it's the name of the website - you need to know the author if you're going to use the quote!

    Also - I saw your comment on Katy's blog re. your confusion about Unit 3; due to technical problems, I can't upload the original briefing, but I suggest, if you want a clear insight into the project, then please visit this link on the group blog:


    And go visit the student blogs and work backwards - actually reading their posts! Obviously, you can come and talk with me next week (hopefully after all the snow disruption is at an end).

  4. also - one of your images has gone missing... at least on my view of this post.

  5. This is what i was following


    If you go to Electronic Sources> Websites that is what i was following to quote from other online reviews. It says:

    "For websites found on the worldwide web the required elements for a reference are:
    Authorship or Source, Year. Title of web document or web page. [type of medium] (date of update if available) Available at: include web site address/URL (Uniform Resource Locator) [Accessed date]."


    NHS Evidence, 2003. National Library of Guidelines. [online] Available at: [Accessed 10 October 2009].

    It says put authorship or source so I put the website as the source, because I dont know the author..?

    For images I followed

    Other Types Of Documents> Pictures, Images and Photographs


    Electronic Sources> Electronic Images

    I dont know how I would find out who the actual author was because not all reviews give that information.

  6. not sure why you're looking at the University of Anglia, Sean - I have made sure that all the links you need are ON YOUR BRIEF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Anyway - for your convenience...

    Follow this link for ‘how to reference’ conventions for all kinds of sources.

  7. Its still the Harvard method Phil, I thought the Harvard method would be the same everywhere?

    Anyway, it looks very much the same as the link you sent me ( I followed the "website and online documents" referencing guide and made the fatally yours reference exactly the way they say it should be) I hope its all correct now.

    It does say "Note: If there is no identifiable author, use the name of the organisation (or part of the organisation) instead,
    for example, BBC or The Guardian." which is why I put Fatally-Yours as the author in the first place but I managed to find the actual author so thats rectified now.

    Thanks for guiding me through this :).