Okay, you’ve talked me onto the forum. Yes! The Haunting proves that less is more. Thank you for recognizing it. Scared my mom and me to pieces in the house alone when I was a teenager.
I have to say though that the single movie scene that creeps me out long after watching is Samara crawling out of the TV set after poor Noah and fast forwarding right in front of him in The Ring.
Love the show, the stories, and the accompanying chat.
I’m provocatively scattering praise for my favourite kind of TTT episode – an all-fiction buffet!
That being said, I can’t heap similar prase on the story itself this week. It bounced along energetically enough but at the end I found myself wondering:
“… and …?”
In your afterthought, Larry, you say that the great ones don’t show. I’d like to propose an amendment – that the great ones don’t HAVE TO show. When they don’t, they’ve creeped us out enough to deserve the payoff, but they also know when only full-tilt gruesome will do.
For me, this time, I didn’t really feel the story had worked hard enough to earn the right not to have to show. In fact, I’d go so far as to say there were too many “not show” moments – like the sketch-book, or the inconsistent conch shell. It was like a weak episode of Twin Peaks – falling back on being oblique just for the sake of being oblique.
For my digital two cents, a more honourable take on modernising the M.R. James ghost story, which manages to combine stylistic pastiche and more effective atmosphere-building, is the Gwyneth Jones story in Starship Sofa’s episode 233.