Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Haunting of Hill House

I have now tried to write this review three times. Each one I deleted. This time I am not going to, I am going to leave it up and see what happens.

For this R.I.P I did something a little different. I watched The Haunting (1963), The Haunting (1999) and read the book. I liked both the movies, and I think in the 1999 version the cast was wonderful. That being said the book was much much better.

In the book the house had been written as a character. That is very difficult to produce in a film version, unless it is animated. Hill House is described as having everything in its proper place. It is also in the first paragraph described as not sane.

In the 1963 version of the film Theo's home life is alluded at. In the book it states she lives with a "friend" with whom she exchanges gifts that are most special. In the 1999 version Theo, is as a bisexual on the prowl. I liked Catherine Zeta-Jones as Theo, she seemed more in line with what Mrs. Jackson had wanted.

Eleanor Vance, the protagonist is in all media forms a woman who needs to grow a pair. Now, when I was 12 and first read this. I could so relate to not being allowed to have freedom, and a life. Always unwanted, always the doormat. Until she gets to Hill House, there things change. At 12 the ending of the book confused me, it still does. I am not sure if Nell is being haunted, created a poltergeist, or is just crazy.

page 23 " She shivered and thought, the words coming freely to her mind, Hill House is vile, it is diseased; get away from here at once."

page 149 "Now we are going to have a new noise, Eleanor thought, listening to the inside of her head; it is changing."


Hart Johnson said...

Oh, how interesting to look at the same story in three of its iterations. I haven't seen or read any of these, but they all sound fairly intriguing.

Nulaanne said...

Hi Hart, welcome.
It was intersting, and very very fun to do. For the movies I went to a friends house and we had a mini movie party.

I think for the next challenge the Once Upon a Time. I might try to do the same thing with a nother book.

Michelle @ 1morechapter said...

Great review. I want to see the first movie and maybe the second as well.

As far as the ending, I definitely believe it was the house.

Kate said...

You're exactly right about this being hard to review. It's one of my favourite books, I'm rereading it right now, and I'm determined to *actually* review it this time. It's just that there's so much there, and so much to talk about! For me, at least :)

I actually strangely love the 1999 film which most people can't stand. It's a little campy, true, but gorgeous in its settings. Also, I thought CZJ was perfect as Theo as well.

Nulaanne said...

Hi Michelle, you should watch the movies, both of them. Each is a good take on the book.

Kate, Ho. I know she made a wonderful Theo. I did want to talk about more of the book, and the movies, but I did not want to give anything away for the people out there who have never read it.

Priya said...

I just read this book for a read-a-thon. I haven't seen the movies, but I wanted to read this book ever since I read its descriptions in Stephen King's Danse Macabre.
I know the movies are supposed to be good, but when I read the book, I kept wondering how they could manage to film most of the parts. The House, like you mentioned, or each character's thoughts. The end confused me to, but I decided that the house ultimately drives her crazy...

Nulaanne said...

Hi, Priya
I hope that you get to see the movies. They are not as good as the book, but then most book to movies are that way. I do like each movie one for the cast and one for being so shocking. I did not see the 1963 one in the theaters. I was not born yet, but taken in the context of the time that is one scary movie.