Haunting: The Implicit Cut, The

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Brief Synopsis:
The Haunting (1963), more or less as you remember it, but with all internal monologue removed. The opening and closing narration is retained. Also featured is an alternate audio option with the internal monologue kept but significantly trimmed.
Having seen the theatrical cut of The Haunting twice now, I don’t think the internal monologue is redundant, just that it is overused. Nevertheless, I was interested to see how the film functioned with it entirely removed, and I wanted to see a half-way house. “The Implicit Cut” gives both as audio options attached to a single video. This is less a fan-fix and more of a narrative experiment. I wanted to present two alternatives to the viewer, as well as give an insight as to how the film might function when its chief narrative tool is stripped away. When the explicit is removed, how much remains implicit?

Alongside the changes to internal monologue, there are a handful of small trims to some shots (more often than not as a result of removing the inner monologue) and 3 or 4 lines of dialogue have been tweaked ever so slightly. Otherwise, the film is largely untouched and the opening and closing narration is intact.

I’ve proofed several versions of this now, and I’ve personally found both audio options to convey different atmospheres. With the internal monologue completely removed, a lot is left to the viewer to interpret in terms of Eleanor’s mental state and how she is interpreting events. Whereas the 2nd audio option trims mostly superfluous monologue, leaving in some of the more explicit thoughts she has.
Other Sources:
- Film static and wind sfx from freesound
- Short, unofficial instrumental suite of The Haunting score
Special Thanks:
Thank you to everyone who showed interest in the forum thread and gave any sort of feedback/encouragement. Particular thanks to my friend “Joebby”, who had a lot of thoughts on the inner monologue and was more or less a consultant for the secondary audio option. Thanks also to Jonny S for his suggestions on the poster.
Release Information:
Special Features
Alternate audio option with trimmed inner monologue. Subtitles are available for both versions.
Editing Details:
Editing this involved a few things I wasn’t expecting it to, in order to make the absence of the inner monologue work. Some techniques/tools used include, but weren’t limited to:

- Rescoring (sometimes piecing scraps of audio together from the film audio to create something similar or usable to replace inner monologue)
- Audio replacement (sfx, film hiss etc.)
- creation of new frames (to cover visual gaps)
- Masking (to tweak timing of action and dialogue in shots)

Eleanor's internal monologue "theme" could get pretty repetitive, so in some cases I intentionally rescored these sections with different portions of the score once the monologue was removed.
Cuts and Additions:
The Gist:

- Light visual trims to opening narration
- Removed all inner monologue
- Some visual trims to accommodate the above
- Minor tweaks to a few lines of dialogue

Full Cutlist:

Normally I go through my timeline post-edit and note down time codes for all my cuts that I spot, but since my computer broke I lost most of the files and I don’t have an easy reference point beyond memory. I had already noted down most cuts, but for around the last half hour of the film it’s much less accurate. So this is only a near-complete cutlist, and only for the main audio:

0:38 - added "Fanedit.org presents"
0:44 - added "a Scribbling Man edit"
0:50 - added animated "The Implicit Cut" title card
2:31 – trimmed shot of carriage
2:37 – trimmed shot of horses
3:32 – trimmed transition and opening of 2nd wife intro
3:50 – trimmed reaction time and retimed narration so that the line: “the 2nd Mrs Crain’s death was even more interesting than her predecessors” is immediately followed by her fall.
3:59-4:04 – minor trims to fall
4:18 – retimed narration to coincide with start of scene visually. Light visual trims for this scene.
12:29 – internal monologue removed. Score removed. Some foley.
12:41 – replaced SFX, altered fade to go straight to Route 238
12:54-13:10 – removed monologue. Reworked score and sfx. Trimmed internal shot of car.
15:39 – tweaked score
15:46 – brought forward zoom into window
15:49 – trimmed shots of Eleanor, rescored, and removed monologue.
15:53 – wide exterior shot of castle instead of zoom in (which occurred earlier)
Increased grain on still image of window to help it sit better
16:29-16:37 – light visual trims, replaced score, removed monologue
18:02 – removed monologue. Added sound of Eleanor breathing.
19:12 – removed overemphasis of “in the night… in the dark…”
19:35-19:51 – removed monologue. Rescored.
21:19 – re-timed “in the night”, cut “in the dark”
22:28 – removed monologue. Replaced score
23:26 – removed monologue. Visual trims. Re-timed ghostly cry so that Eleanor looks like she’s reacting to it
23:46 – removed monologue. Rescored.
33:23 – trimmed shot. Removed monologue
37:35-38:11 – removed monologue. Partial rescore.
39:20 – removed monologue
40:37 – trimmed shot. Removed monologue
41:26 – trimmed shot. Removed monologue
54:09 – trimmed Eleanor’s reaction. removed monologue
57:55-58:12 – visual trims. Monologue removed. Partial rescore
1:08:28 – trimmed shot. Removed monologue
1:08:40 – removed monologue. Rescored
1:11:35 – trimmed shot
1:14:17 – trimmed shot. removed monologue
1:18:38 – trimmed shot. Removed monologue
1:22:05 – masked Eleanor to aid trims to faded shot and keep background continuity. Removed monologue
1:25:17 – removed monologue. Trimmed shot
1:26:47 – cut “I’ll sell you the house for cheap”. The scene works better without a quip.
1:27:24 – removed monologue. Trimmed shot
1:27:47 – removed monologue. rescored
1:29:07 – cut shot. removed monologue
1:30:26-1:30:41 – replaced score, removed monologue, tweaked background dialogue and visual timing to aid removal. Masked Eleanor to keep background dialogue in sync visually.
1:30:41 – retimed shot of statue
1:31:48 – removed monologue. Replaced score.
1:32:21 – trimmed shots. removed monologue
1:32:52 – removed monologue. Replaced score.

From this point on the cutlist is from memory:

1:34:43 – 1:35:25 – a few bits here. Monologue removed, score replaced, some audio I found jarring on the original film has been altered.
1:42:25 – monologue removed, visual trimmed, some sfx replacement. Eleanor was masked separate from the background so that I might have more control over her mannerisms during when the car starts moving.
1:42:39 – from this point till the end of the car crash there is a ton of audio work. I found this to be the hardest bit of audio editing because it was so hard to find usable portions of the score and also keep the car noise sounding accurate. Plenty of monologue removed.
1:44:12 – made a slight trim to Grace’s dialogue here. There was a line that I found to be a bit too on-the-nose, especially for a former skeptic.
1:46:39 - added "The Implicit Cut" end title card

'Arrival' (Scene Comparison)

'First Encounter' (Scene Comparison)

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I have watched both the Haunting: Iplicity Cut and the The Psychological Cut. Of the two cuts I prefered 'The Implicit Cut' as it contained the backstory which gave context for when they are talking about Hugh Crain and the Nursery room.

I watched the version with no voice over and would recomend this over the theatrical cuts overused voice over. Problems I had with the original are reduced but still there to a point. I still found the character a little too irritating and wish the backstory of the house could have been doled out gradualy over the course of the movie instead of in one big exposition dump at the begining.

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Cinema is a visual medium, they say. And yet, so frequently, filmmakers appear to be mortally afraid of silence (as in lack of words, not as in complete lack of sound effects and ambience) and feel the need to overload everything with dialogue/monologue in case the audience feels bored. The Haunting is one of those cases. Though far from the worst offender ever, and a very good film still, it doesn't seem to totally trust its cast's facial expressions to comunicate certain things and abuses the voiceover. So, I find this in both of its versions a big improvement. Unlike the previous reviewer, dare I say I prefer the completely voiceover-less version. Julie Harris' acting communicates more than enough of what's going on inside her mind, just with her face. Also, this edit fixes another problem I had with this movie just by cutting ONE line. Russ Tamblyn's constant wisecracking used to take me out of the story, but with the worst offender gone ("I'll sell you this house... cheap!", at a moment in which any rational person would be soiling their pants) somehow the rest doesn't bother me at all anymore. One of the most atmospheric haunted house type films ever (second only to The Innocents) is now even better. Thanks, The Scribbling Man, for making this!
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Another laudable effort from The Scribbling Man. The Haunting for me has always been dragged down by Eleanor's anxious internal monologue. So it's interesting to see how the film works without it - as well as with it significantly minimized. The Scribbling Man did a very good job filling in the aural gaps where the internal monologue should be. That said, I feel he could have gone further with the visual cuts to eliminate the moments that hold on Eleanor as she's thinking out loud. At times, especially early on, it almost felt as though the movie was broken. This was the first time I've watched the film in a few years, so a lot of the beats felt fresh to me, but it was clear when these pauses for voice over were happening, and unfortunately they took me out of the film.

Fortunately though, there's track 2, which I feel is the real success here. Track 2 offers enough internal monologue to fill these moments without overdoing it the way the original film does. Seriously, the strongest impressions I have thinking back to watching The Haunting over the years are the ghost banging and the annoying voice over. So with track 2, I now have a version to replace the original. Visual editing is completely seamless here. Reading the cutlist, I was surprised at how much was actually tweaked because all of it went unnoticed both times I watched the film. It just moved at an agreeable clip for a 60's film. I really appreciate The Scribbling Man's attention to detail in whittling away 5 minutes from the film.

The Implicit Cut experiment was a very worthy endeavor and I encourage you to give track 1 a chance. Meanwhile, I'm going to remux the file and bump track 2 up to the top spot ;)

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Owner's reply December 19, 2021

Thank you for the review, seacom. It's great to hear your thoughts and I'm really glad you enjoyed it. I'm especially grateful that you took the time to watch the film twice in order to experience both versions!

While I think the no-monologue audio achieves what I intended in the Implicit Cut, I can understand where you're coming from with some of the early portions. The partial-monologue is also my preferred version if we were to consider this a "fan-fix" on any level.

I actually have yet another cut of The Haunting on the way. It's a much more liberal edit, but uses the Implicit Cut as its foundation. Having read what you've written, I might take the opportunity in this new version to try out some heavier trims on the moments you've eluded to :)

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