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THE HAUNTING: Blu-ray (Dreamworks SKG, 1999) Paramount presents...

In 1963, director, Robert Wise – better known for his excursions into noir and the Hollywood musical, terrorized audiences with The Haunting– a bone-chiller adapted by Nelson Gidding from Shirley Jackson’s 1959 novel, The Haunting of Hill House. As in the novel, the ’63 version depicted the paranormal experiences of a small contingent of novice seekers of the truth, invited to ‘investigate’ a purportedly haunted house. But Gidding also perceived the story from the vantage of our central protagonist, Eleanor Lance, suffering a nervous breakdown, despite Jackson’s insistence she had penned a supernatural yarn of suspense without any psycho-babble to intrude upon the terror. A smash hit when it premiered, The Haunting has remained high on film critic’s ‘best’ lists for decades, and, as recent as 2010, ranked among the top 20 horror movies ever made. Interesting, then to reconsider Jan de Bont’s remake from 1999 – a picture, universally panned by these same mandarins as cheap drivel of th…

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