Reviewed by Diane Squires
Rating: 10 Beans
here are some movies that are so horrendously bad, that they're good. This isn't ione of them. The Haunting is just plain bad. I was amazed that a film with that many special efects could be so amazingly, mind-numbingly boring. Oh, and whenever The Haunting isn't boring you to tears, it's so incredibly embarassingly stupid that you just want to stand up and shout, "Calgon, take me AWAY!!!!!!!!!"
Lili Taylor plays Eleanor, the world's most irritatingly boring woman. She's agressively dull, and she whines incessantly. Her family hates her, she hates them , and I hate this movie already. So what with one thing and another, Eleanor decides to take the family car and drive off to Hill House, which will somehow make everything all better. You see, Eleanor is psychic, so Qui-Gonn Jinn, um, I mean Dr Marrow (Liam Neeson) has invited her to come and have a nice vacation at the loony house, along with a couple other random nimrods he picked up off the street.
Long story short, everyone arrives at the house and hilarity ensues, only it's not supposed to be hilarity 'cause we're supposed to be scared. Eleanor and Theo (a nattily dressed Catherine Zeta-Jones), the bisexual hyper-slut, going running around the CGI funhouse while the men stand around off screen doing nothing. A couple of people we neither remember nor care about go home early, so that the nasty ghosts can get to work tormenting the movie going public, and the people who remain in the house.
The best and worst scene is the one where the fireplace bites Luke Sannerson's (Owen Wilson) head off. After that, you might as well go home. If you don't, you'll wish that you had. It's that painful. Honestly. It made me want to soak my head in a bucket of ice-water. There were little children, there were little angels, and Eleanor ran around barefoot in a flowing white nightgown for reasons unknown. Why can't anyone in these things ever invest in slippers and a bathrobe? Blech.
By the way, at the end of the film, the caretaker turns up to let everyone out of the house, but no one bothers to mention that they've left a decapitated dead guy in the chimney. Shouldn't they at least call the police, or his next of kin or something? Wouldn't it be a good thing to at least warn the caretaker that he might need an extra sponge or two to clean the fireplace?
In conclusion, don't go to this movie. Don't rent this movie. Don't watch this movie on cable. Friends don't let friends see The Haunting.
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