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- Region 1
- Run time: approx. 1 hr, 53 min.
- Subtitle: English
Scene selection: Animated menus
- Package: Keep case
- English: DTS-ES Digital Surround,
DTS 5.1 compatible
- English: Dolby Surround
- French: Dolby Surround
- Behind-the-Scenes featurette
- Theatrical trailers (2)
- Cast & Filmmakers' Bios
- Production Notes
Theatrical Release: Summer 1999
DVD Release: 08/29/00
Review Date: 10/05/00
List price: $ 24.99
On-line price: $ 20.99
Pre-order price was: $ 16.99
Signature Selection - DTS ES 6.1 Discrete
Based on the book by Shirley Jackson, "The Haunting of Hill House", "The Haunting" begins when Dr. Marrow (Liam Neeson) attempts to conduct a controlled psychological experiment to study fear using a facade of a sleep disorder study on insomniacs. Dr. Marrow and his team of psychology students take a group of volunteers to an isolated mansion. Nell (Lili Taylor), Theo (Catherine Zeta-Jones), and Luke (Owen Wilson) are the unknowing subjects (or victims, as the case may be) as they check into the hauntingly beautiful mansion.
I like how the housekeeper greets each volunteer and makes them feel welcome as they check into the Hill House, one by one:
"I don't stay after dinner... not after it begins to get dark... I leave... before dark comes. We live in town--nine miles--so there won't be anyone around if you need help. We couldn't even hear you... in the night.... No one could. No one lives any nearer than town. No one will come any nearer than that... in the night, in the dark."
As the story develops, the characters also develop. They soon realize that something is going on with the Hill House, and that Dr. Marrow no longer controls this experiment. Captivated by the voices of pleading children and their attempts to communicate with her, Nell strives to uncover the secret of the haunted Hill House.
special effects are world class, combining real-world physical effects
and computer generated effects. Equally effective is the sound
effects which takes full advantage of the low
frequency effects (LFE) channel.
Most notable is the 27-minute behind-the-scenes featurette, hosted by Catherine Zeta-Jones. It provides an insightful look at the making of the feature film, interviews with various cast members, set design of the haunted house (with parts that actually articulate!), the general appeal of horror films, the producers' legacy in horror genre, a discourse in real-world haunted houses (including the famous Winchester Mystery House), and real-world haunted stories. The latter two portions of the featurette is pretty spooky.
Video & Audio
The image quality of this anamorphic widescreen DVD is first rate. The colors are accurate and saturated, while shadow details are well defined, particularly in many of the dark scenes. The image quality is true to the haunting look desired for the feature film.
The DTS-ES Discrete 6.1 surround sound is simply awesome. We used our new Sony STR-V444ES receiver which features Sony's proprietary virtual 6.1 matrix surround sound processing, which simulates the effects of a back surround channel with just the usual left and right surround speakers. The sound mix is hair raising, with ample use of the low frequency effects (LFE) channel. If you don't have hardware to decode the new 6.1-channel DTS-ES, don't worry. It's completely backwards compatible with your DTS 5.1 equipment.
In chapter 18, where the metal spiral staircase is breaking apart as Dr. Marrow climbs it to rescue Nell, the surround sound wonderfully depicts the bolts as they fracture and the cables as they snap. You are completely engulfed in the intensity of the scene.
"The Haunting" was originally released in a Dolby Digital version. This particular re-release features a DTS Extended Surround 6.1 Discrete soundtrack (and Dolby Pro-Logic). In fact, it is the first DVD title to feature DTS-ES Discrete 6.1. If you like horror films, this one is pretty terrifying. Watch it at night. Watch it alone. Watch it in a dark room. Watch it in DTS-ES at full volume. I dare you.
"The Haunting" (DTS) DVD at:
only $16.99 at
Visit the DreamWorks web site.
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