The Haunting


The Haunting

Critics Consensus

Both psychological and supernatural, The Haunting is a chilling character study.



Reviews Counted: 39

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Audience Score

User Ratings: 19,284


All Critics | Top Critics
Average Rating: N/A
Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0


Average Rating: 3.7/5

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Movie Info

Anthropology professor Richard Johnson investigates reports of psychic phenomena at a "troubled" New England mansion known as Hill House. He is joined by Julie Harris and Claire Bloom, women of radically different temperaments who share a common gift for ESP. Cynical Russ Tamblyn, who stands to inherit Hill House, goes along with the paranormal investigators, hoping to get a few laughs. He doesn't -- nor does Harris, the person most adversely affected by the various ghoulies, ghosties and things that go bump in the night which reside throughout Hill House. Both Julie Harris and Claire Bloom insist to this day that they experienced genuine ghostly disturbances during the filming of The Haunting. Conversely, director Robert Wise noted that he wanted to undergo a paranormal experience, but never did.

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Julie Harris
as Eleanor Lance
Claire Bloom
as Theodora
Richard Johnson
as Dr. John Markway
Russ Tamblyn
as Luke Sanderson
Fay Compton
as Mrs. Sanderson
Rosalie Crutchley
as Mrs. Dudley
Lois Maxwell
as Grace Markway
Valentine Dyall
as Mr. Dudley
Diane Clare
as Carrie Fredericks
Ronald Adam
as Eldridge Harper
Freda Knorr
as Second Mrs. Crain
Janet Mansell
as Abigail at 6
Pamela Buckley
as First Mrs. Crain
Howard Lang
as Hugh Crain
Claud Jones
as Fat Man
Amy Dalby
as Abigail at 80
Rosemary Dorken
as Companion
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News & Interviews for The Haunting

Critic Reviews for The Haunting

All Critics (39) | Top Critics (7)

  • When The Haunting digs into the internals of its story, summons its spirits and lets them play havoc with cold reason, it has a power and fervor unmatched by any film ghost stories.

    Nov 1, 2018 | Full Review…
  • People stare about in terror and squeak: 'The house, it's alive!' The picture, it's dead.

    Oct 19, 2008 | Full Review…
    TIME Magazine
    Top Critic
  • The artful cinematic strokes of director Robert Wise and staff are not quite enough to override the major shortcomings of Nelson Gidding's screenplay.

    Sep 25, 2007 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

    Top Critic
  • Pretty effective when it came out; it may be a little stiff in the joints by now, but it's still a much better scare show than the recent stinker remake.

    Sep 25, 2007 | Full Review…
  • What makes the film so effective is not so much the slightly sinister characterisation of the generally neurotic group, but the fact that [director] Wise makes the house itself the central character, a beautifully designed and highly atmospheric entity.

    Sep 23, 2006 | Full Review…

    Derek Adams

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • Makes more goose pimples than sense.

    May 9, 2005 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Haunting

One of the best ever and perhaps the template for the haunted house genre. A scientist wants a team of "experts" to verify if a celebrated haunted house is the real deal or what. Robert Wise gets his scares with sound and weird camera angles, shadows and music. There's no buckets of red corn syrup, no chopping of body parts, no unkillable killing machine with a fetish for William Shatner facemasks, only the hint of something out of reach in the dark. And it has stood the test of time. Richard Johnson's English scientist whispering his lines does some considerable spooky damage as well. Julie Harris' voiceover is only a tad annoying, but bearable in the overall scheme of things.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

Julie Harris' narration gets a little excessive at times but otherwise, great classic horror film that sports a great brooding atmosphere, mesmerizing cinematography, and a great ensemble cast.

Christopher Heim
Christopher Heim

Super Reviewer

A sophisticated Gothic tale that doesn't show us anything that would actually frighten us to death but still manages to create an eerie sense of dread as it probes into the psychological and emotional unbalance faced by its protagonist and blurs the line between reality and illusion.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

It's Robert Wise so it's not hack but I found this film very uneven. Two powerful actresses completely overshadow dominate over two crap male actors. Unfortunately they men get half the dialogue. There's a lesbian thing, there's and female postponed adolescence hysteria thing, there's guilt over a parent's death, there may be ghosts. Oh and there's a house. Eh, maybe horror's just not my bag.

Bob Stinson
Bob Stinson

Super Reviewer

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