Haunting, The

Featured In Issue 253, January/February 2021

WSR Score5
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Paramount Home Entertainment
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Intense horror sequences
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-50)
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Jan de Bont
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Dolby TrueHD 5.1
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"The Haunting" is a ghost story based on Shirley Jackson's "The Haunting of Hill House." For over a century, the foreboding Hill House mansion has sat abandoned—or so it seemed. Intrigued by its past, Dr. Marrow (Neeson) lures three subjects to the site for an experiment. But, from the moment of their arrival, as night descends, the study goes horrifyingly awry, and Hill House unleashes its supernatural wrath on the unsuspecting subjects. (Gary Reber)

Special features include Filmmaker Focus: Director Jan de Bont On The Haunting (HD 09:14), a behind-the-scenes featurette (HD 27:12), the theatrical teaser, the theatrical trailer and a Movies Anywhere digital code.

The 2.39:1 1080p AVC picture, reviewed on a Sony Bravia Z9D 4K Ultra HD HDR display, upconverted to 2160p with greater resolution and luminance, was photographed in anamorphic Panavision® and VistaVision® on Kodak Vision film stock using the Beaumont VistaVision Camera and Panavision Panaflex Millennium camera systems and sourced from a 2K master Digital Intermediate format. Grain is very fine and virtually non-existent. The picture is beautifully photographed with hues that are natural yet strongly saturated. Hues are rich and warm and impressively display the intricate and amazing interiors of Hill House. Fleshtones are perfectly natural and accurate. Contrast is excellent with an effective lighting design that exhibits both creepy dark shadows and sunlit moments in the interiors. Black levels are deep and solid. This is an amazing picture with an extremely high level of visual spectacularism that is compelling throughout. (Gary Reber)

The Dolby TrueHD 5.1-channel soundtrack is wonderfully dynamic. Hill House is voiced with powerfully deep sub-25 Hz bass frequencies that resonate throughout the soundfield, with all manner of sound effects that are directionalized. The house growls and rumbles with intensity. The sound effects are incredibly textured in nuance with excellent reverberant shadings. Dialogue is excellent with impressive spatial integration. This is the way dialogue should sound. Every word in intelligible. The strange voices in the night enhance the feel of the haunted house. The howling turbulence swirls throughout the soundfield. The orchestral score is very prominent and hauntingly beautiful and suspenseful. This is a masterpiece of a holosonic® soundtrack that is reference quality throughout. This will certainly show off a performance home theatre. (Gary Reber)