100 Movies before we move: #67
I feel like the film was built on an elaborate set. The acting was wooden and the internal monologing overbearing. A great piece of door work in the later part of the film. 6/10.
The novel by Shirley Jackson is hard to adapt faithfully – this movie does a admirable job (only minor changes to the scenes that are included, as far as I can tell, but a lot was left out) and this is unfortunately its downfall. Variations on the theme (like the recent Haunting of Hill House on Netflix) are more able to capture the supernatural horror. The screenwriter apparently saw this story as an exploration of mental illness and that might have worked – except the others heard things too. Unfortunately, trying to be both supernatural thriller and mental illness drama, it failed to do either well. Still, this movie is a horror classic, it had fantastic sets and some good tension. 7/10.