The Innocents (1961) VS The Haunting (1963)

Discussion in 'Reader Polls' started by Cujo108, Jul 3, 2006.

?

Choose!

  1. The Innocents (1961)

    33.3%
  2. The Haunting (1963)

    66.7%
  1. Cujo108

    Cujo108 Guest

    Two of the best ghost films ever made, each with a central female character who may or may not be a little loopy.

    I personally prefer The Innocents, as I think it has the stronger story, the creepier situations, and more dramatic weight. I also find that it leaves me with more to think about in the end.
     
  2. Hellbilly

    Hellbilly Active Member

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    The Innocents, because that's another late night childhood fave that gave me the willies.
     
  3. onebyone

    onebyone Guest

    I love them both, but The Innocents does have kind of a loopy ending so I can't really vote for it. Besides, few movies get more scares out of less than The Haunting. Those random knocks from... somewhere scare me every time. Add that to a great cast and the super character of Eleanor and you have a movie that's hard to beat in my book. It's a good thing they never remade it. That would have been a disaster.
     
  4. Copyboy

    Copyboy Member

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    Love them both, but had to go with the Innocents as it's one of my favorite stories.
     
  5. R. I. P.

    R. I. P. New Member

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    Definitely two of the greatest ghost movies ever made. The original "Haunting" gets my vote simply because the fear factor is more intense than with "The Innocents", although I love the latter immensely. Will we ever see another ghost movie as effective as these two released someday? I mean, it's been over 40 years and still nothing compares, IMHO.
     
  6. Ash28M

    Ash28M Active Member

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    Wow great poll. The Innocents by a nose hair.
     
  7. The Chaostar

    The Chaostar Johnny Hallyday forever

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    Both are great films but The Innocents is a bit more than that. What a masterpiece of modern (yes, modern!) horror!
     
  8. Reverenddave

    Reverenddave New Member

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    The Haunting is the best horror film ever made. The Innocents is great, but The Haunting is a masterpiece. The book is also a classic.

    "I don't stay after I set out the dinner, not after it begins to get dark. I leave before the dark comes. We live over in town, 6 miles away. So there won't be anyone around if you need help. We couldn't hear you... in the night... No one could. No one lives any nearer than town. No one will come any nearer than that. In the night. In the dark."
     
  9. satans-sadists

    satans-sadists Ghost

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    Both are terrific ghost stories, but I think The Haunting is one of the very best haunted house movies ever. It still has the power to scare. The direction and cast are top notch. Plus, Russ Tamblyn is in it.
     
  10. DVD-fanatic-9

    DVD-fanatic-9 And the Next Morning, When the Campers Woke Up...

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    The Haunting, easily. And I don't even like the film. It's way too dialogue-heavy and the dialogue lacks a lot of power.

    But... at least it isn't The Innocents. I fail to see, for the life of me, how this is in any way a situation that warrants how over-the-top Deborah Kerr's performance is. She's having a one-woman terrorshow over... nothing. Absolutely nothing. Absolutely nothing is going on. Not a damn thing. The children are possessed by adult ghosts and she wants to keep the souls inside their bodies from doing adult things and thereby tarnishing the kids' ability to go to heaven.

    That's what that's about... I really think that's it.

    OOOH NO, get ready to cover your eyes! The kids are... keeping secrets. Telling lies. Scaring other children WHOM WE NEVER SEE AT ANY POINT DURING THE FILM! Thrill to the revelation that the Evil Boy Child was... kicked out of school for bad behavior. That we never see or hear about. Keep still as you're exposed to the popcorn tossing spookiness of... the girl having a rebellious screaming fit. She's... still screaming. Yep, she's... still screaming. Because she's emotionally manipulative. Try to contain your fear, people. Any minute now, you're going to see those kids...

    Go to bed. Hold a candle. Wear a crown. Stare. Stare some more. Stare even more. Bicker. Refute arguments. Stare yet some more. Say sardonic things. STARE....

    You've got to be fucking kidding me.
     
  11. Matt89

    Matt89 Well-Known Member

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    To be honest, a lot of those same arguments can be made about The Haunting. You never see the ghosts, you hear sounds and noises and there's an eerie feeling to the whole movie but hey...no actual ghosts. I'd say it's definitely subtle. But so is The Witch. And so is The Haunting.

    I get that the movie just didn't work for you, but that doesn't mean the film isn't still effective. From what you said you kinda missed the point of the movie. It's not meant to scare you with ghosts popping up all over the place. It's far more psychological than supernatural. And that was clearly the intention. The Haunting has the almost exact same approach.

    It was a really close call for me but I chose The Haunting. That being said, there are definitely some great moments in The Innocents. It's a gorgeous looking film and has this eerie atmosphere that only adds to its effectiveness.

    ~Mat
     
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  12. Harry Warden

    Harry Warden Well-Known Member

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    I hate voting for one of two films that I adore. Both of these are top notch films, but in the end, I have to give The Haunting the edge. It has one of the greatest moody and cold chilling atmospheres of any ghost film.
     
  13. DVD-fanatic-9

    DVD-fanatic-9 And the Next Morning, When the Campers Woke Up...

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    Completely agree. But, to me, and I hope to you too- seriously, that scene with the door. Now that was actually scary. Something was definitely happening there. You can't deny that. And it was big. I don't think I've seen anything from the 70's and 80's quite that powerful outside of maybe Poltergeist or The Exorcist. (Big FX movies anyway. Big budgets, they can afford it.) Okay, and The Evil Dead. Just because that whole set-up is one of the scariest you could imagine being in if you were there. But physically, watching the door itself was truly something worth showing the characters freaking out over. It was an image that carried real weight behind it. There's nothing like that in The Innocents. And it was so impressive, I still don't think any film has really beat it since.


    Yeah, but you see that woman. The wife of the professor who started the experiment. You see that something definitely happened to her. That's #1. And, #2, when she disappears- you also know that something has happened because the psychics have made it clear that she was sleeping in a room with a lot of bad energy in it / surrounding it. We knew it was unsafe for her to stay in that room. And, #3, we know that the house has a history of horrifying deaths. Real deaths. That's: if the house has a power to hurt anyone who enters it, you know exactly how. We have legitimate examples of what the house can do. Nothing, absolutely nothing, like that in The Innocents anywhere. Nothing even close. We just know there were 2 people who died in the house and their ghosts possessed the children. And, furthermore, the governess was not worried about what the children were going to do to her... She was worried about what the ghosts were going to do to the children. Again: because her father was a minister / preacher. What does that mean? She's afraid the ghosts will corrupt the children's salvation / their souls.

    And... that's... hysterical and pretty overwrought. Don't you think?


    I hear people say it's effective. But, show me any evidence that it communicated a fear that is a real fear that people who are relatable to a real audience would have.


    Well, what about my interpretation? Does it not deserve its day in court? I mean, do you have any theories of your own- I've love to hear about them.


    Did you miss the reflections of ghosts in the windows / doors of the house? The movie was not implying that this was in her head. At least, I don't buy it. It's a signal to the audience that these are the spirits who have taken over the children. And... you know, made them wander around the house acting like really bored adults who like freaking out prim and proper English ladies.


    My personal opinion on The Haunting is not that flattering. I just think it transitions from mediocre into being effective. It's not a substantive story, but it's an effective freakout for 1963 thanks to the camerawork, music, etc. It still has flaws. I really hope I made that clear from my other post. I agree they are very close to being the same "beast." But, The Innocents gives us nothing but the prim and proper English lady freaking out over what might happen. In The Haunting, we really do SENSE what these people have to be afraid of and we know it can actually kill and/or hurt them.

    At the end of The Innocents, I'm sorry to say
    it looks like Kerr just drove herself crazy and died of self-induced terror
    .
     
  14. Matt89

    Matt89 Well-Known Member

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    And that last point you made I actually totally agree with. I kinda think that was it. That was the point of the movie.

    But isn't that horror in itself? The fear of losing your sanity? Not being able to tell what is real and what is in your head? Being driven to madness? I think that definitely makes it horror and adds a sense of dread.

    ~Matt
     
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  15. russweiss

    russweiss Well-Known Member

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    I saw the Innocents several times in my younger days. I always thought it was a very well done film. It's probably been over 30 years since I watched it so perhaps my views would change if I were to see it again. The Haunting I've only watched one time and it was disappointing. My vote goes to The Innocents.
     
  16. DVD-fanatic-9

    DVD-fanatic-9 And the Next Morning, When the Campers Woke Up...

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    Well, I think my main point of this whole thing anyway is: what about the audience? The portrayal of what someone goes through in a film and how their fears are palpable / tangible has to be made relatable. Something the audience could see happening to themselves were they in a similar position.

    The Innocents doesn't have that. It relies on us recognizing the woman's upbringing as excusing her intuition to - basically - fly into hysterics. And so soon after sensing that she might be right, the kids might be possessed by adult spirits and in danger of being "corrupted."

    The Haunting, on the other hand, actually connects to real fears an audience might have in that situation. We hear about what has happened in the house, then we see that the house can deliver to the characters in it in the present what we've heard it's done to people in the past.
     

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