After four weeks of nothing but “Weird Sex” films, including David Cronenberg’s “the medium is the message” Videodrome, Andrzej Żuławski’s tentacle divorce film Possession, Kevin Smith’s “creature feature” Tusk, and Mike Nichols’ genre mixing Wolf, Trace and I are venturing into more subdued territory with Robert Wise‘s 1963 black and white classic, The Haunting.
In the film, sexually repressed Nell (Julie Harris) escapes from her sheltered life when she receives an invitation by Dr. Markway (Richard Johnson) to stay at the infamous Hill House. She’s joined by telepath and explicit lesbian Theo (Claire Bloom), as well as disbeliever Luke (Russ Tamblyn) for a scientific experiment to confirm the existence of the supernatural. But, as the opening voice over tells us, Hill House is evil and it will stop at nothing to ensure Nell, its next victim, sticks around the house forever.
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Episode 219: The Haunting (1963) feat. Robyn Adams
Lock the bedroom door and be mindful of whose hand you’re holding because we’re headed to Hill House with Robert Wise’s 1963 adaptation of Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting. Along for the ride is Robyn Adams, who is a huge fan of the material and brings with her vital knowledge of the book.
Up for debate: how predatory is lesbian Theo? Is Nell queer-coded? And is her relationship to Dr. Markway an attempt to throw off censors?
Plus: loving Mrs. Dudley, Joe’s silver lining read of the sad ending, Trace’s appreciation of rococo styling, and pushing back against complaints that the audience doesn’t see anything
Cross out The Haunting!
Coming up on Wednesday: Just in time for the sixth entry in the Scream franchise, we’re unlocking the Patreon vault to release our mega episode on last year’s Scream (2022)!
P.S. Subscribe to our Patreon for more than 229 hours of additional content! This month, we’ve got episodes on on The Outwaters, HBO’s adaptation of The Last of Us, 65 and, of course, Scream VI, along with an audio commentary on The Strangers: Prey at Night.