The Haunting at 60: is it still one of the scariest films ever made?

Martin Scorsese and Steven Spielberg count the slow-burn 1963 horror as one of the greatest of all time but it wasn’t always seen as a classicThere’s a strange kind of pride that many people take in not being frightened by certain celebrated horror films.

“Oh, it’s not scary at all,” they’ll say loftily about The Shining or The Exorcist or The Babadook, as if they’ve somehow outsmarted the film and the other, weaker viewers it worked on, all still cowering too much to give the holdout’s smug bravery the shrug it merits.

Scariness, in addition to being wholly subjective, is not exactly a value judgement.

There are any number of shoddy identikit slashers out there that can make an otherwise discerning viewer jump in all the right places; there are likewise many smart, artful horror films that may not elicit much more than a stray shiver,…

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