Dir. Robert Wise, 1963
Starring: Julie Harries, Claire Bloom
Saturday 15 June 2013
doors open at 2.30pm
(entrance through Connolly Books)
43 East Essex street, Temple Bar, Dublin 2
day membership: €8.00
free tea & coffee
~ ‘Creepy Mansion’ B&B ~
Discounts for Queer Groups.
This isn’t the first or last film to tell the story of a bunch of strangers thrown into a creepy mansion for a few nights, but it may well be the cleverest and gayest of them all!
By the late 1950s, Freudian psychology had well reached the masses. Ordinary people were familiar with the following theories: (a) there are different parts to our psyche (roughly, a moral side and a wild side), (b) humans can only function in society because they repress their instincts, and (c) a lot of what we repress is floating in the ‘unconscious’ —haunting us— and is likely to come out somehow… One way of enjoying The Haunting is by seeing this mad house as a metaphor for an individual psyche: each character in this motley crew represents one aspect of human nature. Needless to say, since we are talking about repression and the unconscious here, sex plays a big part. The film is peppered with queer clues (watch out for the lesbian statues!), and one of its main storylines concerns the seduction of a woman by another woman. Didn’t Freud himself say that fundamentally we are all bisexual? Well, there you are. If this mansion is a person’s head, the person is lesbian. And the thing she is most afraid of, and the cause of all the ‘supernatural’ disturbances in the film, is actually her own lesbianism.
Considered to be one of the best horror films ever made, The Haunting is actually full of wickedly funny moments, much like a bar of dark chocolate stuffed with unexpected crunchy nuts. And lets not forget the camera work! This is a masterclass on how to create unbearable tension without CGI monsters or buckets of blood. Today’s filmmakers are still trying to catch up with this great film from 1963.