Oct 29th: The Haunting(1963): http://youtu.be/AeAzGxWlEcg
How well does this classic age? I’m of the opinion that it is timeless. Nearly every Fright-Flick to come after this film owes a large debt for either it’s direct influence, or the inspiration it provided. The Haunting is a flashback to a time when Gore or slick visual effects weren’t needed to elicit terror from their audience. The film follows 4 people who have chosen to stay in the notorious Hill House for the purposes of conducting experiments with the Paranormal. We have Dr. Markway, Luke Sannerson(next in line to inherit the house), a psychic named Theodora, called Theo for short, and frail Elenore Lance. The narrative of the film establishes the grim history of the house, and we also learn that there were no right angles used in the construction of the house, which fucks with perspective and your ability to gain your bearings. If I ever build my own house, i’m totally stealing that.
The frights in this film are intense in their depiction, but they owe more to the foley artists and sound department than anything. Loud banging outside the bedroom door accompanied by ghostly wails, and the complete losing of their shit of the girls sleeping inside. The narration by Eleanor paints a picture of a woman shattered by her homelife, who’s mental state spirals further out of control since entering Hill House. Visually, this film is still unique in that it makes very interesting use of pans, zooms, tilts, dollys, and all manner of camera trickery to give the film a nightmarish intensity. %0 years later, and this film is still regarded as one of the scariest of all time. Sit down, shut up, and marvel at how Horror films used to be, and can one day be again.