The Innocents (1961)
Directed by: Jack Clayton. Written by: Truman Capote and William Archibald, based on The Turn of the Screw by Henry James.
Plot: Woman (Deborah Kerr) goes to spooky old house to become the governess for a couple of young orphans (Pamela Franklin & Martin Stephens). Soon she discovers that the house is haunted by two of the former staff (Peter Wyngarde & Clytie Jessop) who are doing all kinds of nefarious and naughty things.
Review: I don’t have the energy to actually write a review of this movie so I’m going to copy and paste from the one I wrote two years ago (edited for clarity and grammar):
“It manages to be extremely fucking creepy without really showing you anything. Actually, that's a bit of an understatement, what with the spooky faces looming out of the darkness and shit. Man, that freaked me out.
"The whole thing has that black and white thing going for it. Shadows and all that, you know. A lot like it's counterpart, The Haunting (I say counterpart because they were made around the same time, they're equally creepy, and they represent the two different haunted house stories, although the house in this movie is more traditionally haunted, whereas that in The Haunting is just evil).
"Deborah Kerr is really scary. Scarier than the creepy kids, scarier than the ghosts. Sort of like Nicole Kidman in The Others, which is practically a remake of this anyway (creepy blonde woman in creepy isolated house with creepy staff and two vacant-eyed, creepy kids). She’s pretty good though. I like her. She was basically the only thing which held my attention in From Here to Eternity. But that’s neither here nor there.
"The kids are quite good as well, which is important. If the kids suck, then you might as well just give up. Neither of them really went on to do much (their IMDb pages are pretty weak). I remember Pamela Franklin in Hell House, which was actually a pretty good movie although it did suffer from that weird… thing that every Richard Matheson story has. You can always tell if something is Richard Matheson. Don't get me wrong, I digs the Matheson but his stories all have that... thing. That.... semi-over hyper-sexuality... if that makes any sense.
"Moving on, this movie is sort of ambiguous about whether or not the house is really haunted, managing to maintain this ambiguity to the end and beyond, which is a difficult feat. No, even at the end I wasn't sure if the house is actually haunted or if she's just psychotic.
"Yep. I liked this movie, and I recommend it to anybody who hasn't seen it yet. It's a nice, light ghosty story. I mean light as in bloodless and not heartstoppingly terrifying, like, say, The Grudge. God I hate that movie. I en't read The Turn of the Screw yet, but I mean to. [Edit: I have read it. I didn't like it. I thought that this movie summed up the book most effeciently].
It’s very old-fashioned, but on the other hand Deborah Kerr is pretty hot.
Favourite Part: That creepy fucking song:
Other versions: Many.
Sequels: Apparently there was a prequel called The Nightcomers with Marlon Brando. Ew.
My original review can be read here although this was copy pasted from that so really there's not reason to read it...
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