The Haunting is a haunted house flick: a son has cancer and is receiving experimental treatments for it. The commute is apparently bad enough that the mother rents a house closer to the hospital so she doesn't 'drive off the road after falling asleep behind the wheel.'
The movie tries to be scary. To be fair, it includes some decent moments: there's a squicky bit where Cancer Boy sees visions of how the house used to be a funeral home where a necromancer used dead bodies to call up evil spirits, and he clips their eyelids off.
However, the family succumbs to the raging stupids on several counts:
- If Cancer Boy has hallucinations, it may mean the cancer's in his brain. They do not tell the doctors he's seeing things for ages.
- They *own* an actual house, in addition to renting the ghost house. Yet, when presented with definitive proof that their house is home to evil ghosts, they stay. They keep a pair of winsome children nobody seems to care about right in the house for the exorcism, despite having a perfectly viable alternative that they are already paying for.
BASED ON A TRUE STORY.
Yes, a movie featuring serious discussion of necromancy, breathless revelations about how Cancer People get Ghost Vision and how prisons use iron bars to keep the spirits of the killers within from roaming free is... supposed to be based on a true story.
It even ends with the mother insisting, "Consider yourself warned!"
Because you might rent a house that used to belong to a necromancer who cut the eyelids off of corpses and left the mummified bodies in the basement to plague you for lulz. It could totally happen. Probably already did, and you'd know it if you had cancer.
The Atomic Cafe is, on the other hand, one of my favorite movies of all time: it's a documentary about America's history with the atomic bomb, told entirely via archival footage. Basically, it's a great film made of a hundred terrible ones.
All I really have to say about it is that if you haven't seen it, do. It really *is* based on a true story, and the difference tells: it's absolutely terrifying. :)