Haunting: The Psychological Cut, The

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Brief Synopsis:
Building on 'The Implicit Cut' as a foundation, this new cut makes various changes in order to accommodate the possibility that 'The Haunting' is all in Eleanor's mind. Changes include a new opening and ending, tweaked dialogue and a narrative structure that never leaves Eleanor's side. This edit can be viewed both with or without internal monologue.
My initial intent with the film was not to make any drastic changes at all, beyond removing the inner monologue - this became 'The Implicit Cut'. But after a comment from jrzag42 regarding their wanting the film to have been less explicit, I decided to then build on the foundation of my first cut and create an alternate version that would allow things to be interpreted either as a literal haunted house or as something much more psychological.

Based on feedback, I was intending to be more liberal with this edit, make it exclusively no-monologue, and take that opportunity to trim certain moments even more. While it is certainly a more liberal edit, ultimately I decided that the monologue was beneficial for the concept and instead opted to have it as the main audio option. I did however still include the no-monologue version as a secondary audio option and had a go at further trimming two instances, based on Seacom's feedback.

I have a lot of thoughts on how this cut now affects the narrative, but I'll refrain from detailing them as I'd like to avoid influencing people's thoughts. If you leave a review, I'd love to hear your interpretation of events. While I made cuts with a particular "theory" in mind, the desire is ultimately for the cut to be open for speculation.
Additional Notes:
This edit is an extension of my previous edit of The Haunting, found here: https://ifdb.fanedit.org/haunting-the-implicit-cut-the/
Other Sources:
- Film static and wind sfx from freesound
- Short, unofficial instrumental suite of The Haunting score
Special Thanks:
This edit is dedicated to jrzag42, who planted the seed of the idea in my brain. Thank you also to Seacom, who gave feedback on my ideas and a preview clip prior to me announcing the edit. Thank you to Dwight Fry for his encouragement. Thank you to my friend Joebby for previewing the no-monologue version and providing feedback.
Release Information:
Special Features
- two audio options
- subtitles for both
- trailer
Editing Details:
This edit involved rescoring, foley, masking, cropping, grading, framerate adjustment and tweaking words of dialogue. Some of the main tools used included: vegas pro, virtualdub and flowframes.
Cuts and Additions:
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 recommend waiting till you've watched the edit.

- 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.
- 1:30:10 - re-arranged and extended shots of the house with foley to maintain dusty silence and pace the scene better.
- 01:30:17 - extended shot of overturned car, now with complete silence and the background adjusted so that the road is empty and we no longer see the others running towards the car.
- 01:30:24 - cut aftermath and conversation following Eleanor's death. Added extra shot of house and extended.
- 1:30:27 - transition to "the end" title card. No Eleanor monologue here since it has been used for the opening of the edit.
- 01:30:41 - adjusted closing title card to reflect title of edit
Teaser Trailer

Comparison (Invisible Mrs Dudley)

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With the Psychological Cut, The Scribbling Man has created a more immediate version of 'The Haunting'. He makes some decisions that I think the original filmmakers were a little hesitant to commit to. While the original version mostly follows Eleanor, it also wants to explain the house a little more. As the title suggests, 'The Psychological Cut' commits to the idea that all of this stems from Eleanor, whether she's imagining everything around her, or is manifesting The Haunting herself. This is brought up in the original version, but the filmmakers dilute that idea with other suggestions for the source of The Haunting.

That said, I don't know if this tops The Scribbling Man's 'Implicit Cut' of 'The Haunting' - which I feel DOES top the original version of the film simply by toning down the inner monologue and making a few nips and tucks. Still trying to figure out why, because so much works here. I don't think the original intro is missed in this edit, but ultimately I think I prefer it for how it establishes the mood a bit more. Scrib's new ending in 'The Psychological Cut' also works well. It's nothing drastic, and could have probably fit in the original film just fine.

Having compared both audio tracks, I feel this probably works best with the minimal internal monologue as it helps tell the story along. As I said in my review of 'The Implicit Cut', I've wondered for years how 'The Haunting' would function without all the inner monologue, and finally The Scribbling Man has shown us by providing multiple audio tracks (and now, multiple edits) to compare. Maybe the monologue can't quite be completely extracted from the film, but a lot can be toned down. A very commendable job.

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Owner's reply May 22, 2022

Thanks for taking the time to review, man :) good to hear your thoughts.

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For the most part the Psychological cut works very well. The scene Eleanor is on the colapsing library staircase works well desptite the cutting of the forshadowing scene in the library which establishes that the staircase is not safe. Ending with the car crash is very effective and I did not miss the conversation between the other characters that happens after in the original cut.

I have watched both the Haunting: The Psychological Cut and the Iplicity 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 wonder if there was a way to include this backstory in the Psychological cut while still telling the story from Eleanors point of view. Perhaps in the scene where they all meet for the first time over breakfast Dr. Markway could explain the history of the house to them?

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