Over the years, the words “Directed by Jon De Bont” and “Starring Keanu Reeves” have not always been recipes for awesomeness (Reeves does get points for Point Break, of course), but I guess accidents can happen. Of all the films built on the Die Hard blueprint, Speed is pretty much the only one that didn’t suck even a little.
Rule #1 in telling a good ghost story: the less you show of the ghost, the better. Robert Wise understood that in 1963, Jan de Bont ignores it in 1999.
For the first half of this new adaptation of Shirley Jackson’s classic novel, the story follows the book and the original movie with reasonable fidelity, and thus for the first hour, The Haunting is reasonably effective and spooky. The ghostly manifestations are done with sound and suggestion, not ham-handed visuals. After that, however, the special effects take over and the film loses all narrative cohesion.