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The Haunting - The Psychological Cut

The Scribbling Man

Tenant of the Tower of Flints
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haunting psycho poster.png

This edit is dedicated to @Jrzag42 - and anyone else who wanted there to be more ambiguity or a more psychological leaning in Robert Wise's The Haunting.

Building on my Implicit Cut as a foundation, of which the chief goal was to remove the inner monologue, The Psychological Cut makes several new changes in order to make room for the interpretation that "The Haunting" isn't real.

Why is she at the house? Is the house haunted? Is it a psych ward? Is it a dream? Is it something else entirely? Are the characters in her head?

That's for the audience to decide.

To allow room for more interpretation:

  • This version has no opening narration from Dr. Markwell, it comes from Eleanor.
  • During the film, Eleanor is always on the scene, the other characters are never alone, and they only interact with each other and with Eleanor while in Eleanor's presence.
  • In the theatrical film they pay little attention to Mrs Dudley, and in this version they pay no attention to her (with the exception of Eleanor early on). The audience can easily assume Mrs Dudley is talking at Eleanor, not at everyone.
  • New ending

The below clip features one of the trickier bits of editing in the cut, and one of only two instances in which a character other than Eleanor directly engages with Mrs Dudley. I've done something a bit funky, but hopefully subtle. It should be apparent when the side-by-side comparison plays.

Changes (preferably don't read until you've watched the clip):
  • Instead of looking up when Mrs Dudley starts speaking, Markwell now looks up when Theo responds to Eleanor.
  • Markwell doesn't look at Mrs Dudley for the 2nd time
  • Markwell doesn't lose his temper with Mrs Dudley
  • Markwell's eyes stay on Eleanor during close shot
  • Some dialogue trimmed to accommodate changes

The edit will retain the two audio options from my other cut: one with trimmed monologue, one without any monologue. The trimmed monologue will probably be the default option, since I think it embellishes the psychological aspect. But should people want even more ambiguity, the absent monologue option will be accessible.

The edit should be complete or close to it. I have a render but I need to proof it.

Full cutlist pending.
And there was me thinking that you had made The Haunting as perfect as it could possibly be with the Implicit Cut! LOVE this new approach! (And the clip does work great!)
Watched through my render this evening and picked up on some things to tweak, but generally pleased with it. Hopefully the next render will be the one.
Finished proofing my 2nd render with the main audio option. Will proof the second audio track with a friend in the near future. Unless they catch anything, we should be good to go.
2nd audio option has been proofed and has gone down well. Only annoyance is two out of place subtitles, which is an easy fix but means i need to re-mux, re-archive and re-upload (sigh).

But you can consider this done, and it will be ready and submitted in the very near future.
Subtitles sorted. Edit uploading. Submitted to IFDB.


The Gist:

- New opening
- Eleanor is always on scene
- Mrs Dudley only interacts with Eleanor
- Except for Eleanor, no one interacts with Mrs Dudley (though they acknowledge her existence in conversation)
- General tweaks or re-ordering of shots to help put more emphasis on Eleanor's perspective
- Tweaks to dialogue to accommodate the above
- New ending

Full(ish) cutlist:

To the best of my memory, this is a full cutlist of everything done to 'The Psychological Cut', but bear in mind that the basis of this edit was not the theatrical cut, but a lossless copy of my own 'Implicit Cut'. So for a fuller cutlist, please see the IFDB page for that (though obviously the time codes will not all line up).

There are spoilers below, so I'd recommend waiting till you've watched the edit. I've omitted my cuts towards the end for now, but they will be present on the IFDB page when it goes live.

- 00:00:10 - cut Markway's opening narration and replaced with Eleanor's epilogue. Rescored.
- 00:00:39 - added 'fanedit.org presents'
- 00:00:44 - added 'A Scribbling Man edit'
- 00:00:50 - new title card and animation
- 00:02:12 - cut Markway's prologue about history of hill house, as well as his scene with the aunt and shot of him crossing names off a chalkboard. We now transition directly to Eleanor' argument with her sister.
- 00:05:24 - a tighter trim to the shot of Eleanor here as well as further trimming to the monologue. this was done based on seacom's feedback that the silence during the no-monologue version felt awkward.
- 00:05:41 - further trimming here to shots and the monologue, chiefly to avoid the scene being too long and awkward, as per seacom's feedback.
- 00:11:08 - very slow zoom in here to avoid Mrs Dudley being in shot on the left side. This is to accommodate changing her dialogue.
- 00:11:17 - cut lines from Mrs Dudley that will later be repeated during Eleanor's conversation with Theo. now she just says "I don't wait on people. I don't stay... not after it begins to get dark". Originally she says "I don't stay after I set out the dinner". Shots of Mrs Dudley talking also cut.
- 00:13:00 - score tweaked here to accommodate Eleanor no longer hearing Mrs Dudley talking to someone.
- 00:13:03 - door foley, following which: cut Theo speaking to make it seem as though Dudley could be talking to Eleanor. Re-timed Eleanor speaking so that she interrupts Mrs Dudley. Foley for when Theo places her bag down.
- 00:13:25 - Mrs Dudley says "you serve yourself" instead of "you serve yourselves"
- 00:13:30 - Mrs Dudley is masked out and funked up so as to have her no longer talking (her dialogue here would be a repeat of what she said to Eleanor earlier). Now there is silence after Theo speaks and Dudley just stares. Foley to maintain room ambience/misc background noise.
- 00:13:34 - to help make the cut I make here less awkward, Theo now says "the experiment" but doesn't say "quote, unquote" either side.
- 00:13:37 - cut Mrs Dudley speaking and Theo acknowledging her, which also means we don't see Mrs Dudley walk away. Instead the two shots are presented as one motion: theo turns and then as she turns she unzips her jacket and continues to speak to Eleanor. Some foley here and re-timing of dialogue.
- 00:13:44 - we briefly cut away and the conversation plays out beneath a shot of Mrs Dudley leaving and closing the door.
- 00:13:46 - added sound of door closing.
- 00:25:48 - slow zoom in to bring focus onto Eleanor leaving
- 00:25:54 - cut small segment where Eleanor is absent from the room. This was the hardest sell of the edit, since the original does not allow for a smooth cut straight to Eleanor. The characters normally hear her scream, then run after her. Instead, to help bridge the gap in time I've inserted a newly created sequence (which you may interpret how you like). Mixture of scoring, crossfades and layering of footage. Also some masking in order to manufacture a visual of Eleanor trapped behind the windows of hill house. Originally the scream is heard from the distance, now it has been replaced with something more up front. I can't remember which film, but I'm fairly certain the scream is from Fay Wray.
- 00:31:13 - trimmed shot so that we don't see Theo until Eleanor enters the room.
- 00:36:39 - slightly altered musical transition into next scene.
- 00:37:08 - cut POV shot of Markway looking through magnifying glass. Cut wide shot of Markway alone before Eleanor enters. Now the first thing we see is a close up of Eleanor. Partial re-score to accommodate trims.
- 00:43:45 - bunch of changes here which amounts to:

- Instead of looking up when Mrs Dudley starts speaking, Markwell now looks up when Theo responds to Eleanor. This involved masking and an adjustment to the framerate for that portion of the shot.
- Markwell doesn't look at Mrs Dudley for the 2nd time
- Markwell doesn't lose his temper with Mrs Dudley
- Markwell's eyes stay on Eleanor during close shot
- Some dialogue trimmed to accommodate changes

- 00:48:43 - soft fade out. We no longer spend time with the others in the library. This does mean there is no foreshadowing for the rickety stair case, but I don't think this is an issue since it's pretty obvious to all the characters how dangerous it is when it becomes relevant later.
- 00:48:47 - soft fade in. mild foley to sell audio transition.
- 00:53:54 - cut brief moment alone with Markway and Luke. now the girls arrive on scene immediately. Tweaks to score to accommodate.
- 00:54:41 - core removed from dialogue and new scoring put down in order to aid my upcoming cuts.
- 00:54:56 - cut time alone with Markway and Luke and instead fade straight into scene with girls
- 00:59:12 - some foley and re-timing of dialogue over this shot. Cut panning down and Markway being alone and instead we go straight to Eleanor being already in the room
- 01:05:55 - crossfade to next scene to avoid scene with Eleanor absent. Some foley.
- 01:08:40 - cut dialogue between Markway and Grace. now Eleanor runs right on scene
- 01:09:49 - cut dialogue between Luke and Markway and instead go straight into the room. In order to cover the time gap, shot of room is re-used and then graded to be in darkness. Some masking to keep silhouetted movement from looking unnatural. Foley to accommodate and when we hear the light switch we transition to where the scene originally started.
- 01:10:17 - score removed from dialogue and rescoring to accommodate scene transition
- 01:10:22 - cut scene with Markway and Grace and instead crossfade straight to Eleanor and Theo
- 01:11:27 - we no longer see Luke sneaking down to grab a drink. Now we just see them sleeping (Eleanor first) then the door slams shut. Eleanor is now the first to wake up and Markway's reaction is sandwiched inbetween this shot. Some foley.
- 01:18:34 - tweak to score to allow piece to flow consistently between two scenes.
- 01:18:48 - cut people looking for Eleanor
- 01:19:13 - cut shots that imply people looking for Eleanor
- 01:29:17 - re-timed mark asking Markway for the key so that this doesn't take place away from eleanor but in the background while she considers driving off. tweaks to score.
- 01:29:20 - cut shot of Markway looking for keys
- 1:29:24 - cut shot of others running after Eleanor. We now just see this from the distance as her car drives towards the camera and the voices of the others are heard in the background.
- .......????????????? :eek:
In the version I have of this, both audio tracks have a kind of crackle when people speak. I'm not sure what the issue could be, as I assume this is not intentional? Something with the file extraction went wrong maybe? Any ideas?
In the version I have of this, both audio tracks have a kind of crackle when people speak. I'm not sure what the issue could be, as I assume this is not intentional? Something with the file extraction went wrong maybe? Any ideas?

I tested the file all the way through with both audio options before uploading, so I can't imagine why that would be. Have you tried re-extracting or using another player? When I am able, I will download and re-check the file to be sure.
Okay, so it plays fine on WMP, but for some reason not on VLC...
VLC was what I used to test playback, but it can be quite a buggy player sometimes. I'm glad you've got the file working!
Not that it matters much now, but I was partway through downloading my uploaded file to test, so thought I may as well proceed anyway. Playing back samples on WMP and VLC (version 3.0.16), I didn't experience any problems. So whatever the error, I'd assume it either is due to corruption of the file during download/extraction, or perhaps a bug with a particular version of VLC.
^Everything else I've got plays fine, so I assume something happened in extraction. It ended up getting fixed when I passed it through Handbrake anyway, so no worries. (y)
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