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Trivia / The Haunting (1999)

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  • Billing Displacement: Catherine Zeta-Jones is billed first, while Lilli Taylor gets the And Starring credit - despite Taylor's character being the clear protagonist.
  • Creator Backlash: Steven Spielberg was apparently so disgusted by the quality of the finished product that he took his name off the film, and ensured that there was no mention of his name in the advertising materials.
  • The Danza: Todd Field plays Dr. Marrow's assistant, Todd Hackett.
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  • Dueling Works: A week after this film, another horror movie was released... a scrappy, groundbreaking indie film called The Blair Witch Project. Right on the heels of that came a major studio horror film dealing with the paranormal — The Sixth Sense! Simply put, both movies ran circles around this film — Blair Witch turning a massive profit on a tiny budget and birthing an entire subgenre of horror, and The Sixth Sense becoming a massive Sleeper Hit to the point of Oscar nominations. Both films also did well with critics, whereas this big-budget Hollywood remake was laughed out of theaters by those same critics, barely breaking even before the end of its run and quickly fading into obscurity.
  • Enforced Method Acting: As in the original, the creaks and other sounds were played live on the set - to get a genuine reaction of fear out of the actors.
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  • Fake American: Catherine Zeta-Jones is Welsh. Liam Neeson doesn't appear to be attempting an accent, so we can assume Dr Marrow is Irish.
  • Missing Trailer Scene:
    • Eleanor and Theo opening up doors to find a brick wall behind, preventing them from leaving.
    • A line from Theo before she learns the truth about the experiment - "as soon as I turn out the light, my heart starts pounding."
  • Reality Subtext: Dr Marrow's fear as he dangles off the steps while trying to save Eleanor. Liam Neeson is terrified of heights.
  • Technology Marches On: Dr Marrow has a cell phone in case of emergency. Naturally it gets broken and the characters can't contact anyone for help. These days the likes of Theo and Luke would definitely have one too. Eleanor perhaps not considering how repressed she was.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Wes Craven and Steven Spielberg were both attached to direct at one point and Stephen King wrote the first draft of the script. Craven pulled out to direct Scream and King would later rework his original ideas for the script into Rose Red but Spielberg ended up staying on as his DreamWorks distributed.
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    • A deleted subplot had Dr Marrow using the study as a way to finish his book on 'Fear and Performance'. The movie would have ended with the book being published, and dedicated to those who died in Hill House.
    • The Dudleys would be featured in more scenes. Mr Dudley would tell the characters about where Renee Crain hung herself, just before he cleans the paint off Hugh Crain's portrait. And Eleanor would see them about to leave for the night, and they would mockingly invite her to come with them.
    • A fifth character called David Watts was to be featured in the film. Eleanor would see his car driving up to the house and find his keys by the fireplace, but he would never arrive in the house. His body would later be found in the garden. (Perhaps this would have been the reason for the scene with Hugh Crain's statue trying to drown Marrow, to explain what had happened to David?)
    • Hugh Crain's ghost was supposed to come out of the fireplace instead of his portrait. This can be seen in the Behind The Scenes special, hosted by Catherine Zeta-Jones.

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