Monday, 2 December 2013

Capital Celluloid 2013 - Day 356: Sat Dec 21

No1 The Haunting (Wise, 1963): BFI Southbank, NFT2 8.40pm



Tonight's film, part of the BFI Gothic season, also screens on December 19th. Details here.

Time Out review:
Often overwrought in its performances, this adaptation of Shirley Jackson's novel The Haunting of Hill House - a group of people gather in a large old house to determine whether or not a poltergeist is the source of rumours that it is haunted - still manages to produce its fair share of frissons. What makes the film so effective is not so much the slightly sinister characterisation of the generally neurotic group, but the fact that Wise makes the house itself the central character, a beautifully designed and highly atmospheric entity which, despite the often annoyingly angled camerawork, becomes genuinely frightening. At its best, the film is a pleasing reminder that Wise served his apprenticeship under Val Lewton at RKO.
Geoff Andrew

Here (and above) is the trailer.

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No2 The Legend of Hell House (Hough, 1973): Genesis Cinema, 7pm FREE


Richard Matheson adapted the screenplay of The Legend of Hell House from his own novel. In the tradition of Shirley Jackson's Haunting of Hill House, four people with alleged extrasensory powers are called upon to spend a weekend in a supposedly haunted house, to either prove or disprove the presence of ghosts. Roddy McDowall has been in the house before, and refuses to treat the possibility of paranormal activity lightly; scientist Clive Revill believes that he can trace the happenings to rational explanations involving electric current; Pamela Franklin is convinced that, if spirits exists, she will be able to communicate with them; and Gayle Hunnicutt plays Revill's young wife, ripe for "possession." 

Here (and above) is the trailer.

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