Haunting of Hell Hill (1999)
October 12, 2018 11:01 AM   Subscribe

Know Your Haunts: A Crash Course in Horror's Most Confusingly Similar Ghostly Titles, a brief list that mentions the new Haunting of Hill House Netflix series but omits The Legend of Hell House. Shirley Jackson’s opening paragraph To The Haunting of Hill House remains one of the best of all time.
posted by Artw (31 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
 
This is apparently good but contains huge spoilers: The Haunting of Hill House Director on the Biggest Changes From Shirley Jackson’s Novel
posted by Artw at 11:04 AM on October 12, 2018


That is a hell of a good opening paragraph.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 11:07 AM on October 12, 2018 [4 favorites]


It is so off that left off The Legend of Hell House, based on the Richard Matheson novel and featuring Roddy McDowall and an oddly similar plot. If Don't was based on anything, if was based on Hell House.
posted by maxsparber at 11:21 AM on October 12, 2018 [5 favorites]


This seems to be common to horror films. As a child, I often conflated The Changeling with The Shining, though plotwise the movies themselves couldn't be more different.

(Well, except both took place in large, haunted dwellings and both had scenes involving the mysterious materialization of a child's rubber ball. Also, they both had sequences involving bathtubs that traumatized me for years. Come to think of it, I guess they weren't so different after all!)
posted by Atom Eyes at 11:29 AM on October 12, 2018 [1 favorite]


The Shining is, I think, very much part of the Haunting family tree.
posted by Artw at 11:30 AM on October 12, 2018


That is a hell of a good opening paragraph.

Spoiler alert.



Good closing one, too.
posted by mr_roboto at 11:30 AM on October 12, 2018


Good middle ones, too. Here's a scene that's stuck with me: Eleanor is still on her way to Hill House, eating lunch alone at a roadside cafe, watching a family at the next table...
Eleanor looked up, surprised; the little girl was sliding back in her chair, sullenly refusing her milk, while her father frowned and her brother giggled and her mother said calmly, 'She wants her cup of stars.'

Indeed yes, Eleanor thought; indeed, so do I; a cup of stars, of course.

'Her little cup,' the mother was explaining, smiling apologetically at the waitress, who was thunderstruck at the thought that the mill's good country milk was not rich enough for the little girl. 'It has stars in the bottom, and she always drinks her milk from it at home. She calls it her cup of stars because she can see the stars while she drinks her milk.' The waitress nodded, unconvinced, and the mother told the little girl, 'You'll have your milk from your cup of stars tonight when we get home. But just for now, just to be a very good little girl, will you take a little milk from this glass?'

Don't do it, Eleanor told the little girl; insist on your cup of stars; once they have trapped you into being like everyone else you will never see your cup of stars again; don't do it; and the little girl glanced at her, and smiled a little subtle, dimpling, wholly comprehending smile, and shook her head stubbornly at the glass. Brave girl, Eleanor thought; wise, brave girl.
posted by theodolite at 11:37 AM on October 12, 2018 [17 favorites]


Most of us have read "The Lottery," first published in the New Yorker seventy years ago, provoking hundreds of letters to the magazine, most confused, many angry. If you haven't read Shirley Jackson's other short stories, pick up an anthology of hers and do so. She infuses supremely mundane lives with a sublime morbidity that is consistently masterful.
posted by kozad at 11:41 AM on October 12, 2018 [8 favorites]


I could have used this article a couple of weeks ago when I was assembling my October scary movie viewing list for this year; I can never remember which of these movies I've already seen, and which just sound like ones that I've already seen.
posted by Strange Interlude at 11:43 AM on October 12, 2018 [2 favorites]


Yesssss, all the Shirley. Ruth Franklin's bio, "Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life," is also highly recommended.
posted by rewil at 12:10 PM on October 12, 2018 [1 favorite]


"The Summer People" is a short story of hers I love, but it'd be remiss not to suggest We Have Always Lived in the Castle as well, which frankly I thought was a a fair bit better than Hill House.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 12:11 PM on October 12, 2018 [4 favorites]


I have to admit, I'm skeptical of a mini-series largely because The Haunting (1963) is one of the greatest exercises in horror through cinematic minimalism. (The door! Oh, that door!)
posted by GenderNullPointerException at 12:12 PM on October 12, 2018 [2 favorites]


I think this is the movie I saw as a wee Haunted at the drive-in. It terrified me for many years. I remembered the wrong title and I could never find it. Mystery solved. That black cat freaked me the F out!
posted by haunted by Leonard Cohen at 12:15 PM on October 12, 2018


(The door! Oh, that door!)

1999 movie was all “how about some CGI cherubs instead?”.
posted by Artw at 12:55 PM on October 12, 2018 [3 favorites]


I’ve recently gotten into Shirley Jackson. Haunting and We have always lived in the Castle are so freaking bizarre. I got my mom to read them too.

SPOILER FOR We have always lived in the castle.



My mom thinks merricat never came home. That’s why Charles talks to her the weird way he does. He’s wants to marry Constance and is just amusing her by pretending merricat exists. I’m not sure I agree but that’s an interpretation that would totally fit.
posted by sio42 at 1:07 PM on October 12, 2018


This thread needs more Vincent Price, so here you GO.
posted by Major Matt Mason Dixon at 1:22 PM on October 12, 2018 [3 favorites]


Big fan of puppet skeletons rising from vats of acid.
posted by Artw at 1:33 PM on October 12, 2018 [2 favorites]


The Republican Party? Are you sure?
posted by Grangousier at 1:45 PM on October 12, 2018 [2 favorites]


Yes, Hell house on the haunted hill.
posted by clavdivs at 6:31 PM on October 12, 2018 [1 favorite]


I might of mentioned it here before but the opening / exterior shots of the house in the 1999 Jan de Bont version of The Haunting were filmed quite close to where I used to live... I'll watch it whenever it turns up on tv - just the opening scenes obviously, I've never watched the rest of it.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 1:32 AM on October 13, 2018 [1 favorite]


Which one of these movies features a terrified woman hearing really super-loud footsteps stomping outside the door but then, there's nothing there? I remember being so scared watching it... it's black & white, and there was (I think) another scene in it with a spiral staircase?
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 5:33 AM on October 13, 2018 [1 favorite]


That’s The Haunting (1963). Really effective scene just from acting and sound effects.
posted by Artw at 7:08 AM on October 13, 2018 [1 favorite]


The Hellish Haunting of the Hill Hell House on Haunted Hell Hill Oldboy.
posted by glonous keming at 9:42 AM on October 13, 2018 [3 favorites]




Nothing beats Betrayal at the House on the Hill.
posted by es_de_bah at 2:20 PM on October 13, 2018


I have great affection for the Haunting of 1999 (it's terrible, but Catherine Zeta-Jones is wonderful), but I'm nervous that I won't be able to deal with this one. Have any fellow scaredy cats given this a try? I like ghosts, but, like...Casper ghosts. Charmed ghosts. At most, Crimson Peak ghosts. I don't know how people can sleep after watching legit horror.
posted by grandiloquiet at 6:08 PM on October 13, 2018


Also, Frank Lloyd Wright!

Though, the interior didn't match the exterior. And everyone waving a .45, witches on dollies...and the quiet one who's been there before usually with the I told you keychain and last minute partial detail.
posted by clavdivs at 8:07 PM on October 13, 2018


God, I love Shirley Jackson. The Bird’s Nest is also terrific if we’re throwing suggestions around.

The new series is good and absolutely devastating. Like I binge watched the first five and felt hollowed out.
posted by thivaia at 9:17 PM on October 14, 2018


There's a new movie version of We Have Always Lived in the Castle coming out and I for one am pretty excited.
posted by Belle O'Cosity at 4:58 PM on October 18, 2018 [1 favorite]


Oh and also, the new interpretation had a happy ending. ???? No.
posted by Belle O'Cosity at 11:28 PM on October 18, 2018


Only halfway through and I’m not very impressed TBH. Not very Hill Housey.
posted by Artw at 11:53 AM on October 27, 2018


« Older Her interpretation: Call 911, get sticker.   |   It it live? Newer »


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