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Haunting

List Price: Unknown [Buy now and save at Amazon]

Review by Geoffrey Kleinman | posted January 5, 2000 | E-mail the Author
Ever since I was young, and after my Dad took me to see my first scary movie (Poltergeist), I've delighted in the thrill of genuinely scary movies. Lately I've been very disappointed with many of the horror movies I've seen which tend to focus more on gore than the thrill of the chill

The Hanting is a real return to the more classic style of horror and understands the key to a great chill- what you can't see is much scarier than what you can. Set in a magnificent haunted house, The Haunting revisits the classic ghost story in a way that is fun, entertaining and really scary.

Directed by thrill king Jan De Bont (who also directed Speed and Twister) there is no question that The Haunting is a trill ride where the thrill comes first - acting, plot, and character development come second. The real star of The Haunting isn't Liam Neeson or Catherine Zeta Jones but a magnificently designed house, that is reminiscent of some of the great set pieces from some of the great classic Hollywood films.

The most compelling reason to buy The Haunting is for the sound. The sound design and reproduction on this DVD is some of the best I've heard on DVD. If you have a system that supports Dolby Digital 5.1, you'll be amazed at the positional audio in this film. Sounds seem to come from off to the side, far behind and sometimes almost from up above. It's hard not to rave on and on about the sound on this DVD, which is reason enough to buy the DVD and watch again and again.

Dreamworks also did a great job with the picture of the DVD. The images were rich, bright and clean which shows off the rich effects in the film well. Combined with the sound, this DVD gives a genuine theater like experience.

In terms of extras the DVD is a little light for a "signature series", with only a few trailers and a behind the scenes feature. I would have been most interested in an audio commentary from the sound designer on his approach to the movie. The making of feature does touch on this briefly, but not enough for my taste.

The Haunting was a real surprise in my book, I didn't have high expectations for the film, and was truly blown away by the excellent sound. If you're looking for a great story, acting or characters - The Haunting may not be the best choice. But if you're looking for a chilling thrill ride, I can think of none better than The Haunting DVD.

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Highly Recommended

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