Film & Water Presents: Turn It Off with Tracy #5



Do you believe in ghosts? In the fifth terrifying episode of TURN IT OFF WITH TRACY, Rob and Tracy take a trip into Robert Wise’s 1963 classic THE HAUNTING!

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14 responses to “Film & Water Presents: Turn It Off with Tracy #5

  1. Well, that was the best show yet. As a big fan of this film, of course I have a hard time imagining that other people won’t love it, but you, Tracy and Rob, explained beautifully why that was the case. I know all the, for me, positives, so it’s fascinating to hear you two enunciate the negatives.

    It was particularly interesting to hear you note the film’s length Rob, I’ve always been so engrossed I’ve never noticed it. I wonder if I’m too much of an Eleanor to not be afraid; the notion of a house that reeks of evil, yet is somehow seductive, scares me a lot. Julie Harris is so good, only other thing I’ve ever seen her in is Knots Landing as Valene’s crazy mother.

    Anyway, it looks like we won’t be discussing this in Film & Water – hee.

    Now, could you two do a re-edit? Where was the ‘Love You. Love you more’? Come on kids, get with your own programme!

    Funnily enough, me and Anj were discussing Audrey Rose just this week. Great flick.

    Now tell me, am I truly self-obsessed or did I get a ‘called back into the throat’ mention from Rob around about 19.37?

    1. Glad you enjoyed the episode! As the movie rolled on, I kinda got anxious because I wasn’t that into it and I wondered how it got such a rep for being scary.

      I didn’t realize we forgot our traditional sign off! Rest assured it’s implied.

      Re: 19:37–sorry, no, not you. I was thinking Martin Scorsese, then I realized I meant to say Robert Wise.

  2. Like Martin, I am a big fan of this movie and so it was weird to hear you both kind of point out the warts.

    I think there might be some semantics involved. I don’t find it scary … I find it eerie. There is this slowly increasing level of dread throughout the movie because you know that something big and probably awful is going to happen to Eleanor. As the movie progresses, I keep waiting for it to happen. So a sudden cut to an oddly lit weird statue with accompanying swell in music just works. When it turns out to just be a statue, it ratchets up that tension … okay, when is it going to happen! So it is like a bomb with a slow fuse.

    I think there are three legit scares here. The breathing door, the wife popping out of the attic hatch, and the woman running in front of the car at the end all make me shudder. But the rest is all lights, music, and angles. It is very Lewton in its execution.

    And there is no doubt that Bloom wants to seduce Harris. Every scene is dripping with sexual charge.

    As for Audrey Rose, I saw it at a very young age. The end scene terrified me … like pure horror. When I rewatched it a few years ago, like some sort of muscle memory, that same scene gave me goose bumps and nausea. I am sure if I saw it for the first time now I would scoff at how ridiculous it is.

    1. Anj-

      I would agree, this movie is more “eerie” than scary. I just didn’t hook into the Eleanor character that much, I would have preferred to have Claire Bloom be the lead. So when Eleanor goes coo-coo for cocoa puffs, it just didn’t have much impact on me.

      But I still didn’t think it was a bad movie, at all. Just not the terrifying scarefest I thought it would be. As Tracy said to me later, if SHE doesn’t think something is scary, then it’s not scary. This is a woman who jumped in terror during FINDING NEMO.

  3. The thing about this movie is that it’s a type of scary that really doesn’t get made anymore and by and large the world has moved on. It’s atmospheric horror. Now we do still get atmospheric horror movies (Guillermo del Toro anybody?) but these days they are ALSO serving up some gore and a jump scare or two. This film really didn’t have any of that. Again, I think part of that was the time but also it’s just what works for some people. I’ve known more than a few people in my life for whom ghosts are the scariest things they can imagine. But as somebody who that’s never been the case for, the only movie that qualifies as a ghost movie that legitimately scared me was The Ring, the rest I can enjoy but am pretty much never scared by.

  4. Just curious… Did you and Tracy watch this movie at nighttime? I usually come across it on TCM after the sun’s gone down and I always find it pretty effective.

  5. I’m a bit behind on this one, but I agree with you two. I was disappointed when I first saw this a few years back on TCM. It was honestly hyped up too much. I get the atmosphere and eerie mood, but I kept expecting for it to deliver something…and it didn’t. Legend of Hell House and The House on Haunted Hill are both made from a similar idea, and although they are less artsy, they are far more effective, in my opinion. The Shining was a SLOW build, but when it got there, boy, did it deliver.

    I did catch the lesbian overtones as well. Very daring for the time.


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