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Teen Movie Critic - II

The Haunting



The Haunting
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The Haunting is a horror movie that needs a lot of improvement. The script could use some work. The characters could use some work. The special effects were, well, special effects - they were impressive, but they didn't scare or thrill me.

Liam Neeson is at least better here than he was in The Phantom Menace, although I don't see why he received top billing. Lili Taylor had a much more important role than either Neeson or Catherine Zeta-Jones (who is second in the credits). I guess it's all about politics and whose name is going to draw a movie-going crowd.

Neeson plays Dr.Marrow, a shrink who brings Eleanor (Taylor), Theo (Zeta-Jones), and Luke Sannerson (Owen Wilson) to a creepy old house under the pretense of a sleep study. (All three are insomniacs, albeit having very different personalities and prolems.) As you might guess, the house soon starts to display its hauntedness in various ways.

The confusing thing is trying to figure out who did what - Dr.Marrow, whose real goal is to study human fear, plants suggestive scary ideas in his subjects' minds, so they imagine some of what happens. Other things are real, but done by Dr.Marrow to scare them. But the house itself really is haunted, so some of it is real, too.

While Eleanor is the main character, I didn't like her much, and found Theo, Luke, and Dr.Marrow much more interesting. The story should have centered on one of them. Eleanor is too timid and shy, and too much of a martyr figure who has no spine.

The Haunting stretched on about a half-hour past its entertainment expiration date. And I figured out the ending and plot twists long before they happened. This is another one to wait for on video.

My Rating = Two Stars

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