It has no CGI, massive blood loss, or chainsaws.
What it has is sound. A crash in the night, loud knocking, that trapped sensation, and human reactions. Of terror, horror, and madness.
It is The Haunting, the 1963 version of the novel by Shirley Jackson, The Haunting of Hill House.
The most chilling line comes after something begins banging on the bedroom door that Nell, the protagonist, shares with another woman. She reaches out to take the other woman’s hand as the crashing at the door continues, seeming to ebb, and then returning with an echoing boom.
Nell complains that the woman is crushing her hand. When the room falls silent, Nell sees the other woman isn’t close enough to have been the one holding her hand in the dark.
“God! God! Whose hand was I holding?”
Ms. Jackson wrote outstanding literature including The Lottery and The Daemon Lover. To mix it up, she also wrote Life Among the Savages, about raising kids in a old house, one of the most humorous books I’ve ever read.
What is your scariest movie?