The Haunting/No-Do (2008)

I really did enjoy this movie, much more than I thought I would in the first quarter of the film.

I do really love demonology/exorcism based movies, and The Haunting (No-Do) approaches the subject with an angle that seems to be fairly uncommon in American movies. Namely, the house itself is cursed and the plot seems to be made up of events that were probably inevitable because they’ve been playing out in a similar manner for almost a century. Other than the horrible dub (yes, I do recommend subtitles on this one as it is a Spanish language film), the movie is very solidly acted and atmospheric as anything I’ve seen in several years.

One of the angles that I loved the most about this movie is the way that it suggests that occasionally the Church just gets it wrong. And the Church messes up in a fairly huge way, which is what is pushing the plot forward. An institution made of humans falls back on human failings. Not that I (or I think the film, either, due to the reaction of the modern priests reviewing ‘historical’ material in the film) am saying that the Church is unworthy or inappropriate.

There are some generally creepy moments in this movie as well. I do love how foreign horror doesn’t seem to be limited by what people ‘want’ to see in mainstream audiences. The locked rooms in the house are locked for a reason, and we’re shown exactly why. Made my skin crawl, it did. There are a couple plot twists that aren’t exactly original, but are handled such that they don’t feel stale-especially when the plot starts outgrowing the trope. How much of this is the house and how much is it psychological? Where is the line? There is a definite suggestion that it may be much more the house than the head, and I almost prefer that.

The Haunting (No-Do) is not The Exorcist but I liked this movie a lot more than a lot of the recent demonology films I’ve seen.

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One comment

  1. Foreign genre films in general, and horror in particular, often feel more fresh to me, too. I suspect even when the industries in those countries have their own conventions, it is nice for us to step away from the conventions we’re used to.

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