The Haunting (1999)
Tiny Lili Taylor gets to play avenging angel with an assortment of ghosties and ghoulies in this silly would-be frightener based on the novel by Shirley Jackson and originally filmed in 1963. Dr. Marrow (Neeson) enlists three subjects to stay at Hill House for a study in insomnia that’s (unknown to them) actually a study in fear response.
There’s brash Theo (Zeta-Jones), dopey Luke (Wilson), and fragile Nell (Taylor), who turns out to have unexpected ties to the haunted mansion. Big-budget doesn’t make for big frights, just big, mocking laughter from the audience–certainly not what director De Bont must have intended. Dern appears briefly as the scruffy caretaker, with Seldes his Mrs. Danvers-like wife.
Starring: Lili Taylor, Liam Neeson, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Owen C. Wilson, Bruce Dern, Marian Seldes, Virginia Madsen, Todd Field, Alix Koromzay.