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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r


H D - S E N S E I

A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

The Haunting [Blu-ray]


(Robert Wise, 1963)


Also coming to Blu-ray in the UK in May 2020:


Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Argyle Enterprises / MGM

Video: Warner



Region: FREE! (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:51:54.040 

Disc Size: 22,238,285,984 bytes

Feature Size: 21,539,807,232 bytes

Video Bitrate: 21.97 Mbps

Chapters: 30

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: October 15th, 2013



Aspect ratio: 2.35:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio English 1033 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1033 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio German 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio Portuguese 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB



English (SDH), French, German, Portuguese, Spanish, none



• Commentary by Robert Wise, Nelson Gidding, Julie Harris, Claire Bloom, Richard Johnson, Russ Tamblyn

Trailer (2:30)





Description: No one lives in the 90-year-old Hill House. Or so it seems. But come in. Even if you don't believe in ghosts, there's no denying the terror of The Haunting. Robert Wise, whose started his directorial career with The Curse of the Cat People (1944), returned to psychological horror for this first screen adaptation of Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House. Four people (Julie Harris, Claire Bloom, Richard Johnson and Russ Tamblyn) come to the house to study its supernatural phenomena. Or has the house drawn at least one of them to it? The answer will unnerve you.



The Film:

One of the most highly regarded haunted house films ever produced, Robert Wise's The Haunting (based on Shirley Jackson's novel The Haunting of Hill House) weaves the dark tale of a questionably sane young woman and a sinister house which holds a terrifying past. Invited to join anthropologist Dr. Markway (Richard Johnson), ESP expert Theodora (Claire Bloom), and probable heir to the estate Luke Sanderson (Russ Tamblyn) in order to dispel the near mythical tales that surround the house, unstable Eleanor Vance (Julie Harris) agrees to spend a few nights in the house following the death of her mother. As they slowly begin to discover, the horrific and seemingly unbelievable tales may hold more truth than the skeptical guests might have previously expected. With a seemingly unstoppable supernatural force lurking in every shadow, the probability of anyone escaping the evil clutch of the cursed mansion seems increasingly remote.

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

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.

Excerpt from TimeOut Film Guisde located HERE

Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

The Haunting appears impressively strong on Blu-ray from Warner.  The 1080P image quality shows a high level of detail. It probably looked quite similar to this theatrically 50 years ago. This is only single-layered with a modest bitrate but the contrast is very pleasing. There are a lot of dark scenes but no intrusive noise. Grain textures - fairly even - are present and appreciated. There are a few speckles but they are definitely minimal and the 2.35:1 aspect ratio looks super showing frequent depth. This Blu-ray has a few less consistent sequences but I lean more to those being part of the original, or the source - nothing to do with the HD transfer.  I wasn't expecting the film to look this strong Blu-ray and it is a very pleasant surprise to be so film-like.

















Audio :

No boost going on here. Warner provide an authentic DTS-HD Master in 1.0 channel mono at 1033 kbps. It is flat but carries some depth and the original score by Humphrey Searle helps establish the spooky atmosphere - benefitting from the lossless. Quality was very solid. There are optional DUBs and subtitle options and my Oppo has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.


Extras :

The commentary by Robert Wise, Nelson Gidding, Julie Harris, Claire Bloom, Richard Johnson, Russ Tamblyn (recorded separately but pieced together) is originally found from the last DVD edition but it still has a lot to offer - especially from Wise. There is also a trailer.



Brilliant classic horror - which makes you think of the early 60's black + white masterpiece The Innocents. The Haunting on Blu-ray, in my opinion, is a wonderful addition to any digital library. I thoroughly enjoyed my viewing and wish I could do it all over again. The 1080P was a solid part of that appreciation. Strongly recommended! 

Gary Tooze

October 1st, 2013

Also coming to Blu-ray in the UK in May 2020:


About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze






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