5 Nov 2009

The Haunting (1963)

For the starters I thought to check the rating in movie database

The rating in imdb.com for The Haunting 1963 is 7.8

The rating in imdb.com for The Haunting 1999 is 4.6

hm... :/ Huge difference...

I saw the trailer for the new version of the movie. Well, the CG relly looked nice :D Tjough i would have to make more comparisons between these two films after seeing the 1999's Haunting.

So I decided to concentrate on how is the atmosphere and the scarsity created in this movie, because i have to work on The Fall of the House of Usher.

I myself, when was watching the film, noticed that rooms seem overcrowded with furniture. I guess, that it perhaps also creates the atmosphere as if there’s a ghost hiding in each shadow, that are created by this lot of stuff. Though I immediately remembered that E.A. Poe in The Fall of the House of Usher, sketches rooms having only few peaces of furniture. So where’s the catch? The lightning and the shadows again. Only this time, there’s not enough of light.

And what I noticed more was, that the spooky character of the house is created by comparing it to a human (windows are like human eyes, even the shadowy wall with ornaments has eyes)

Exaggerating proportions (when the view of the House is shown from the bottom, so the house “weight” is on the top (it seems wider), in this way it feels like it’s pressing the “tiny and weak little” guests.

Symboles. The sculptures seemed to play their part: D Appearing in the exact moments, intensifying the feeling (like when the statue of devil appeared when Eleanor was running scared)

Of course the shadows and lights.

But to me it looks that the most effective “tool” here was the use of the “parts” instead of “wholes”. For example, showing the nursery room’s doors closed, leaven our imagination to fill the rest.

I’ve had any number of people over the years say to me, “You know, Mr. Wise, you made the scariest picture I’ve ever seen and you never showed anything. How’d you do it?” And it goes back to Val Lewton, by the powers of suggestion.

—Robert Wise in Fearing the Dark: The Val Lewton Career

So. Eyes, swadows, intensifying symbols and parts instead of wholes J


  1. I really took your advice from the feed back :) Though I was taking notes and "preparing" for the films, just didn't upload it :/ But now fynally everything is clear to me :) Thank You for the accurate advice! :D

  2. Hi Jolanta,

    great looking blog very nice to see the thumbnails and working out that you are doing. Keep aup the great work.

  3. thank you :) will try to do so :)