Masters of Terror 2017: John Carpenter's Filmography

This book contains the synopses and reviews of the darkest films in John Carpenter’s filmography. The listings are ranked from best to worst.

The Haunting

A study on sleep deprivation taking place in a large mansion awakens spirits.
United States
1999
Feature Film
Realism: 
Supernatural
Relative: 
Related
Trickster: 
Impostor
Lurer
Dimensional: 
Reflection
Spirit
Unknown
Giant: 
Colossus
Golem
Psychics: 
Illusionist
Hypnotist
Telekinetic
Statues: 
Gargoyle
Sculpture
5.04
A gentle scare!
6
3.04
8
7.04
2
4
3
Performances
Effects
Dialog
The Haunting is the remake of a 1963 psychological thriller by the same name. The once pale sexual subtexts are now fully assumed and explicit. It’s a film based on characters and dialog and not so much on the monsters. In terms of eye-candy, it goes much further than its predecessor, though it is highly reminiscent of the classic and brings back the original supernatural procedural fiber.
It is the set designs and the performers that give it its charm. Some of the 3-D effects will probably rub you the wrong way, though. More practical effects might have done the trick and kept it scary instead of awkwardly shiny. Although the story is a fun one to sit through, it mostly centers on an unstable and sometimes annoying, unnatural character.
With its elegant Gothic backdrop, its high-caliber performers and its occasional wit, The Haunting is all polish, all melodrama, no terror and aimed at a general audience. It’s indeed not high on kills nor gore, and the scares are minimal. It plays a little like a sinister poem, at times, and like a vague modern whodunit in between the more graphic moments.
Alternate Titles: 
The Haunting Remake
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Included in this book are 1900 bite-sized reviews of horror and horror-adjacent films sorted by release date. The reviews consist of 8 ratings.

Subgenres of Terror, 2nd Edition: Time Travel Films

Included in this book are 40 reviews of horror and horror-adjacent time travel films.

Time travel films focus on the consequences of traveling into the past or the future.

Each book in the second edition of the Subgenres of Terror collection contains a thematic watchlist in which movies are sorted in order of preference.

Subgenres of Terror, 2nd Edition: Musical Films

Included in this book are 40 reviews of horror and horror-adjacent musical films.

Musicals are a genre in which songs sung by the characters are interwoven into the narrative, sometimes accompanied by dancing.

Each book in the second edition of the Subgenres of Terror collection contains a thematic watchlist in which movies are sorted in order of preference.

Subgenres of Terror, 2nd Edition: Torture Films

Included in this book are 80 reviews of horror and horror-adjacent torture films.

In torture films, sadistic violence or torture is a central aspect of the plot.

Each book in the second edition of the Subgenres of Terror collection contains a thematic watchlist in which movies are sorted in order of preference.

Subgenres of Terror, 2nd Edition: Claustrocore Films

Included in this book are 80 reviews of horror and horror-adjacent claustrocore films.

Claustrocore films are about people stuck in one place for most of the running time.

Each book in the second edition of the Subgenres of Terror collection contains a thematic watchlist in which movies are sorted in order of preference.