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Product: The Haunting: Signature Selection
Company: Dreamworks
Review By: Byron Hinson
Price: $20:99

Aspect Ratio Regional Information DVD Disc Details
2.35 : 1

1 : USA
Closed Captioning: CC
Master format: Film
Sides: 1 (DS-SL)
Chapter stops: 24
Average Bit Rate: 6.5
Running Time: 113 Mins


Sound: English



Most of you already know that "The Haunting" was panned by most critics when it hit the theatres in the summer of 1999, but not surprisingly, due to the massive amount of special effects and top name stars, the movie did pretty well at the box office both in America and overseas.

I'll get the basic story out of the way first so I can talk about the actual DVD content. The movie is based on the old story "The Haunting Of Hill House" and features the excellent Lili Taylor as Nell, a shy woman who has been looking after her sick mother so long she has started to lose her mind and has trouble sleeping, next up we have Theo played badly by Catherine Zeta-Jones a bisexual woman who is also having trouble sleeping...Finally we have Liam Neeson who takes the part of Dr. Marrow and Owen Wilson who plays another sleep deprived character called Luke.

The story revolves around the dark and foreboding Hill House where Dr. Marrow has decided to setup an experiment about sleep deprivation (Or so he says) with, Nell, Theo and Luke as his test subjects. What Dr. Marrow didn't expect was that Hill House hold a number of secrets that the main character of Nell would hold the key to.

The Haunting 1999

Director Jan De Bont has rightly come to fame for his work on Speed I personally feel that up to now, everything he has done since then has been a waste of time in terms of entertainment (Including Twister). The special effects do tend to over-run the film with De Bont relying on them to do the scaring instead of anything else. The Haunting though does manage to entertain you, it isn't too long and moves along quite fast, it certainly isn't anything special and Lili Taylor is again excellent as the lead.

How It Grades
  Picture Quality: 91%
Sound: 87%
Special Features: 80%
Movie Overall: 80%
DVD Overall: 84%


Now onto the DVD, which is actually not bad at all. The presentation features a number of extras, not a great deal but it does have a few good ones, trailers, behind-the-scenes feature, production notes and cast & filmmaker bios. The DVD does look great and that is the main saving grace for this movie, the colors are deep and there are some great tones on the decor inside Hill House, which show up tremendously well thanks to the DVD. There is also a lack of artifacts showing up which made viewing a pleasure.

Overall quite a good DVD in terms of Video and Sound, it may not have been a critical success but it is quite entertaining to watch in the evening or at the weekend. There are not enough extras on the disc to give it a mark in the 90's in DVD quality but give it a try.

Specs & Package
Overall Score 84%
Release Date Out Now
In The Box? 1 DVD
1 Inlay Card
Special Features Behind-The-Scenes Feature
2 Theatrical Trailers
Cast & Filmmakers' Bios
Production Notes
The Good Points Excellent Video
Good Entertainment
Good Special Effects
The Bad Points Not scary enough
Poor Directing
Dull Dialogue
Memorable Scenes 1: 43 Minutes & 10 Seconds
2: 1 Hour, 13 Minutes & 40 Seconds
3: 1 Hour, 35 Minutes & 29 Seconds
Reviewers DVD & PC Setup Pentium II 450
Windows 98 Second Edition
128 Meg SD-Ram
Matrox G400 32MB AGP Graphics Card
Voodoo 2 - 8mb
DirectX 7a
SoundBlaster Live! Value
17" LG Electronics Monitor
Microsoft Force Feedback Pro
Microsoft Game Pad Pro (USB)
Microsoft Digital Sound System 80
Microsoft Intellimouse Explorer

DVD TV Player - Pioneer DV-626D
Widescreen TV - Sony KV-28WS2U 28"
DVD Setup: Toshiba SD-1202 DVD-ROM - 32x


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