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The Haunting | 1999 | PG-13 | - 1.7.3

A psychologist lures three insomniacs to a haunted house under the guise that they'll be participating in a sleep-disorder study. Based on Shirley Jackson's horror novel "The Haunting of Hill House." With Liam Neeson, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Lili Taylor, Owen Wilson, Marian Seldes, Bruce Dern, Virginia Madsen, Alix Koromzay, Todd Field and Lisa Loeb. [2:05]

SEX/NUDITY 1 - Some sexual innuendo; a woman wears a cleavage revealing slip.


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VIOLENCE/GORE 7 - A person is decapitated by a swinging iron lion; also, a huge iron lion's head nearly hits two people as it swings toward them. A statue holds a man underwater for a few minutes. A piano wire slaps a woman's eye causing a bloody cut; blood fills a glass she holds to her eye. A man has a very bloody, deep cut in his hand; embedded glass is extracted with squishy sounds and we see his bloody hand and a bloody bandage in later scenes. A painting falls on a couple, leaving a bloody cut on one's arm. A man crashes his car into gate and hits his head on the dashboard. A woman is yanked out of bed onto the floor, a woman is "skewered" into place by poles but is not hurt, glass shatters onto a woman and in two scenes a giant hand and many smaller hands try to grab people. People are thrown against walls, a man is drawn toward a fireplace and chairs are sucked from people's hands (as they're trying to break some windows) by unseen forces. A bird statue and a huge, skeletal ghost attack people (the people fight back in one scene). A face slap, lots of chases, a woman runs as a ceiling falls in above and behind her and a man dangles and nearly falls from a great height. A house comes apart at its seams and we see an explosion of ashes with many skulls and bones visible. We see a painting that looks like a bloody skeleton's face, a corpse hanging from rafters and some words and little footprints in red paint or blood. Blood spurts out of a statue's mouth and into some water, staining the water and a man's face red. We see some bruises on a man's neck. Lots of non-violent, non-gory but otherwise unsettling scenes worth mentioning: many "jump" scenes when people or objects startle others; we hear some noises during the night in many scenes (creaking doors and floorboards, screams, eerie whispers, doorknobs turning, pounding at doors) and doors slam shut as people run past them; we see eerie carvings and sculptures throughout a house, a maelstrom and sculptures come alive and scream and a skeleton sits up abruptly; a ghostly face is seen at a window and in a ceiling, windows become eyes, ghostly children are seen a few times (in one scene, a ghostly baby from a sculpture crawls under the sheets as a woman lies in bed) and a woman's hair is braided by invisible hands.


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LANGUAGE 3 - A few scatological references and some obscenities.


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Ghosts, scientific experiments, delusions.

MESSAGE - Some houses are just bad.

CAVEATS

Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.


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