The 1963 screen adaptation of Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House, has the creepiest house in cinematic history!After a long drive most people are eager to see a house. The appearance of a house should be warm and comforting. The appearance of this house does not bring about any warm or fuzzy feelings. Looking at it you feel overwhelming anxiety. Nothing about this house is inviting. Instead it sends shivers through your body and a sense of alarming fear. It is not like normal houses. It actually seems to have a life of its own. The house itself has an evil face. Almost forbidding anyone to enter.
Eleanor drives in and feels an overwhelming sense of fear. She wants to get out. Leave Hill House and never look back. She sits in her car and dwells on her fear. Eleanor does not appear to be watching the house; rather the house is watching her. The way the scene is presented the house seems to have eyes and is ever watchful of what is going on around it. This makes you wonder, what does Hill House hold inside? What kind of evils is contained within the walls? Hill House is aware of all who enters, and all who leave (if they ever do.) The house is deranged and crazed looking.Everyone can relate to that one scary place they would never, ever step foot in. That is what Hill House symbolizes. The fact that individuals are brave enough to enter makes your heart race. You fear for their lives and their well-being. We know Hill House is evil, so why don’t they run far far away? The ever-watchful house definitely brings in the viewers attention. We are eager to learn why it is so angry. We are also fearful as to which one of the protagonists will make the house angry and suffer consequences. It is not often to be this fearful of a house and actually proceed with entering. Therefore, all of these elements combine for a great feeling of terror. The horrible, evil house. The feeble victims. What will happen?Hill House is a mosaic of all gothic conventions. It has a feel of “house-iness” and a sense of being forbidden. Despite the house being tended to by the Dudley’s it still does not appear to be in top-notch condition. It looks weathered and angry. Suggesting time has done more to the house than it should have. You get a feel for how old it may be, just by looking at it. You’re mind then wanders to dark places that could hold the true story of Hill House. House’s this size always have a history. Most often, the history is not a warm fuzzy story.
The setting of this film is what makes the movie worth watching.