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The Haunting Blu-ray

United States
Warner Bros. | 1963 | 112 min | Rated G | Oct 15, 2013

The Haunting (Blu-ray), temporary cover art
Large:


Video
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC (21.96 Mbps)
Resolution: 1080p
Aspect ratio: 2.40:1
Original aspect ratio: 2.39:1

Audio
English: DTS-HD Master Audio Mono
German: Dolby Digital Mono
Spanish: Dolby Digital Mono (Spain)
Spanish: Dolby Digital Mono
Portuguese: Dolby Digital Mono

Subtitles
English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese, German

Discs
25GB Blu-ray Disc
Single disc (1 BD)

Playback
Region free

Price
List price: $19.98, Price history
Amazon: $14.96 (Save 25%)
New from: $12.57 (Save 37%)
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Movie rating
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
7.8
/10
57
ratings.


Blu-ray rating
Video 4.7 of 54.7
Audio 4.1 of 54.1
Extras 2.8 of 52.8
Based on 3 user reviews

Movie appeal

 
Horror100%
Drama54%
Mystery27%
Thriller-

49%
popularity
441
collections
22
fans




The Haunting

 (1963)

The Haunting Blu-ray delivers stunning video and great audio in this excellent Blu-ray release

A paranormal researcher gathers a team to spend several nights in a notorious haunted house in an attempt to prove the existence of the supernatural.

For more about The Haunting and the The Haunting Blu-ray release, see the The Haunting Blu-ray Review published by on where this Blu-ray release scored 4.0 out of 5.

Starring: Julie Harris, Claire Bloom, Richard Johnson, Lois Maxwell, Russ Tamblyn, Fay Compton
Director: Robert Wise

» See full cast & crew


The Haunting Blu-ray, Video Quality

  4.5 of 5

As Wise describes in the commentary, The Haunting had to be shot in England because of financing, and English cameraman Davis Boulton was recommended to him as a cinematographer. The Haunting relies on precise and unsettling compositions, low angles and unexpected camera moves. Wise shot very little additional coverage, editing in his head and checking dailies as he went, a life-long habit retained from his early days as a film editor.

Warner's 2003 DVD of this MGM film wasn't bad, but this 1080p, AVC-encoded Blu-ray improves on it in every respect. The fine detail of Hill House's elaborately spooky decor is resolved to a degree not seen since (probably) the original film prints, and the many scenes where Wise and Boulton have carefully arranged the actors in deep focus, often with a well-concealed split diopter, can be appreciated in a whole new way. Hill House's rooms are full of sinister bric-a-brac that either lingers in the background, insinuating itself into the frame, or suddenly emerges from shadow, frightening one of the characters (usually Eleanor). The Blu-ray's image provides just the right degree of visibility for each such effect, aided by the excellent reproduction of blacks, whites and shades of gray. (The Haunting is one of the best arguments I know for the proposition that gothic horror should always be shot in black-and-white.) The Blu-ray's image also picks up elaborate fine detail in the wardrobe that distinguishes each main character, from Dr. Markway's professorial English checks and tweeds, to Luke's preppy collegiate attire, to Theo's hipster look of the early Sixties (contributed by then-trendy designer Mary Quant), to Eleanor's frumpy spinster duds.

The image has a film-like texture and a natural but unobtrusive grain pattern, except for a handful of shots that looks softer and grainier. Some of these are the product of a then-experimental lens from Panavision that provided a wider image than any anamorphic lens currently available; as Wise relates in the commentary, he had to sign a disclaimer before Panavision would allow him to use it, and he didn't mind that the image was distorted (for an example, see screenshot 18). The exterior shots of Hill House, for which Ettington House in Warwickshire was used, were photographed with infrared film, which gave both the stone and the clouds a surreal quality but also softened the edges. An occasional "regular" shot betrays a slight softness, which may simply be the result of an aggressive camera move (as, e.g., when Eleanor nearly falls off the upper veranda).

With the letterbox bars accompanying an aspect ratio of 2.40:1, and the inclusion of several long dialogue scenes, Warner has managed to get away with an average bitrate of 21.96 Mbps.


The Haunting Blu-ray, Audio Quality

  4.0 of 5

The film's original mono soundtrack has been encoded as lossless DTS-HD MA 1.0, and it sounds quite good. The dialogue is clear, and all the strange noises that lurk in Hill House (or maybe not) are reproduced with just the right level of clarity required for their impact, which is to say that things that go bump in the night do so loudly, whereas odd sounds that might be the voices of the dead are never quite distinct enough to be intelligible. Creaks, footstep-like falls, the strain of rusted metal and one particular effect that would be a spoiler to specify ring through with clarity, and the dynamic range is surprisingly wide. The score by British composer Humphrey Searle, who worked on the original Dr. Who TV series, has no identifiable themes or melodies; it's all atmosphere and shock—and very effective.



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The Haunting Blu-ray, News and Updates



The Haunting (1963) Blu-ray - June 10, 2013

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment has announced the Blu-ray release of director Robert Wise and screenwriter Nelson Gidding's The Haunting. The 1963 horror classic stars Julie Harris, Claire Bloom, Richard Johnson and Russ Tamblyn, and streets on October 15th.


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