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 Haunting, The / Призрак дома на холме / В плену призраков

Режиссер: Jan de Bont

Страна: USA

Жанр: Horror

Год выпуска: 1999

Актеры: Lili Taylor (as Eleanor 'Nell' Vance), Liam Neeson (as Dr. David Marrow), Catherine Zeta-Jones (as Theodora 'Theo'), Owen Wilson (as Luke Sanderson), Bruce Dern (as Mr. Dudley), Marian Seldes (as Mrs. Dudley), Alix Koromzay (as Mary Lambetta), Todd Field (as Todd Hackett), Virginia Madsen (as Jane), Michael Cavanaugh (I) (as Dr. Malcolm Keogh), Tom Irwin (II) (as Lou), Charles Gunning (as Hugh Crain), Saul Priever (as Ritchie), M.C. Gainey (as Large Man), Hadley Eure (as Carolyn Crain)

По готическому роману Ширли Джексон "Призрак дома на холме" ("Haunting of Hill House, The").

Элеонора (Лили Тэйлор), которую сестра (Мэдсен) собирается выгнать из дома, соглашается принять участие в эксперименте, связанном с изучением природы страха. Участникам объявили, что речь пойдет о проблемах бессонницы. Платили за это с жильем и питанием 900 долларов в месяц, и вскоре Элеонора уже осматривалась в жутковатом готическом замке, ворота в который охранял мрачноватый мистер Дадли (Брюс Дерн). Затем она познакомилась с миссис Дадли, которая открыла ей дверь в кухню, сжимая в руке блестящий нож для рубки мяса. После этого было приятное знакомство с Тео (Зита-Джоунс). Вместе они продолжают с восторгом изучать жутковатый дом с множеством хитроумных устройств, залов и коридоров, украшенных различными фигурами, и сталкиваются еще с одним участником эксперимента Люком Сэндерсом. Потом прибывает и доктор Мэрроу (Лайэм Нисон), руководитель, его помощница Мэриэтт Ламбетта и некто Тодд. Доктор Мэрроу рассказывает историю дома, построенного хлопковым магнатом Хью Крэйном 130 лет назад для красавицы-жены. Он хотел, чтобы будущим детям дом напоминал сказку. Но все дети умирали при рождении, при очередных родах умерла и жена. Крэйн, однако, продолжал пристраивать комнату за комнатой, и среди местных стали ходить слухи, что из дома доносятся крики детей. Когда появились экспериментаторы, дом стал подавать признаки жизни, и надо сказать, весьма неприятные. Сам того не зная, доктор Мэрроу выбрал дом, населенный призраками... Хороший ужастик с потрясающими спецэффектами порадует любителей жанра. (Иванов М.)

Rating: 10 out of 10; What the rating means in my system: "A must see for everyone with a serious or casual interest in film and anyone else who is not averse to or doesn't otherwise philosophically object to the genre."

The conventional wisdom among the self-appointed horror literati is that compared to the 1963 Robert Wise film of the same name, the 1999 Jan de Bont remake of The Haunting amounts to so much computer effects garbage. As might not surprise anyone familiar with my reviews, I have a perverse, natural tendency to disagree with the self-appointed literati--blame it on whatever you'd like. In my opinion, the 1999 film blows the 1963 one out of the water from just about every possible aspect we can examine.

Here's the obligatory synopsis for anyone not familiar with the Wise film or the overrated Shirley Jackson novel that served as the source material. Dr. David Morrow (Liam Neeson) is a psychology professor. His main research interests are fear and mass hysteria. He sets up a faux experiment for insomniacs at Hill House, which he chooses because it is enigmatic, surreal, and the perfect setting for planting psychological catalysts in suggestible minds. His real goal is to see how far his carefully crafted suggestions will go in making his subjects (and for some odd reason there are only three--Eleanor (Lili Taylor), Theodora (Catherine Zeta-Jones) and Luke (Owen Wilson)) think they're experiencing supernatural phenomena. I admit that there may be some minor plausibility problems in the premise, but that's not the fault of either de Bont or Wise, but Jackson's book. In any event, it's horror, which is a fantasy subgenre, so plausibility problems shouldn't be any more marring than the same in a fairy tale.

The most unusual and persistent myth about the 1999 The Haunting is that everything is overblown and not left to your imagination, and that's contrasted with the Wise film. I'm not calling it a myth just because I really happen to like this film, and yes, de Bont shows much more on screen with the aid of various mechanical and computer effects, but he also retains all of the subtle elements of the Wise film. Taylor recreates the psychological torment of Eleanor, and this time without the irritating voice-overs, the complex suggested relationships of the main characters are intact, the weird sounds and flexing walls with unseen sources are still here, etc.

I can't help but feel that there is simply a contingent of horror-fan luddites who automatically dismiss any film that uses computer-assisted effects rather than quick cuts, ketchup and chocolate syrup. If you're one of those `fans', then by all means avoid The Haunting, because as soon as you see a computer-animated ghost working its way along the curtains, you're going to feel an urge to hurl your television set out the window. Some of us don't champion political boycotts of certain techniques and technology, and we don't mind directors blatantly showing us something wild and surreal--in fact we enjoy indulging in other's fantasies. For us, The Haunting will be extremely rewarding.

If you're at all interested in the craft of filmmaking, The Haunting is a must see for the set design if not for anything else. You could spend hours letting your eyes get lost in any given set, and there are tens of them throughout the film. Unlike the Wise film, de Bont comes much closer to realizing the house with no right angles that Jackson mentions in the book. De Bont's Hill House is creepy, disorienting, and sublimely beautiful. It really is a `fifth character' as everyone involved with the film likes to point out, and greatly adds to the spooky atmosphere of the film.

For my money, de Bont's film tells the story much better than either of the previous attempts, and it cuts out almost all of the grating, pointless, non-horror elements like `cups of stars' and `a house with lions in front'. This is a classic haunted house film, full of jolts, shocks, suggestions, mildly graphic elements, and heavy atmosphere. It offers the best of a wide swath of horror styles, and integrates them with fine performances, an excellent score, and some of the best visuals in recent years, resulting in a film that gradually increases in emotional intensity. Traditionalist stiffs should look elsewhere. Everyone else shouldn't miss this one

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