The Turn of the Screw

2009

Drama / Horror

8
IMDb Rating 5.5

Synopsis


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1.69G
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English
25.000 FPS /
89 min
P/S 13 / 27
1.07G
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English
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89 min
P/S 20 / 24

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by jc-osms 5/10

I first read Henry James&#x27; chilling ghost story at a young age and haveseen different versions of it both on stage and film and so was verykeen to see this latest version put forward by the BBC in their winterseason.<br><br>The key to the story, in my opinion, is the doubt on whose truth hereis real. Indeed when I first read the novella in my youth, it neveroccurred to me that the ghosts weren&#x27;t &#x22;real&#x22; and not possibly afigment of an over-emotional young woman&#x27;s imagination. Re-reads andre-viewings of the piece have brought me round to this, I think,intended more ambivalent (and ultimately satisfying) interpretation sothat I was disappointed that that this high-production-value versionseemed to cleave so much to the former viewpoint, i.e. that themalevolent spirits were real - this evidenced by the ghosts &#x22;appearing&#x22;in the imagination, for example of the young doctor who attempts tounderstand and salve the troubled mind of the disturbed younggoverness.<br><br>Another source of confusion and disappointment was the transposition ofevents to post-First World War England. If the lead character had beena young man, just back from and possibly their mind affected by thewar, then a case for this change of context, could be argued. In everyother respect though, the film plays as if in a 19th Century time-linethus throwing the narrative off-kilter. I could also have done withoutthe sub-Lady Chatterley cavortings of both the governess in herimagination with her new employer (who, good looks apart and aself-confessed seducer of previous servants and governesses), hardlyseems able to be responsible for her graphic fantasising, as well asthe crudely physical liaison that the phantoms Quint and Jessellportray.<br><br>The film takes this shock-Gothic outlook to extremes with scenessuggesting the actual possession of the children by their malefactorsbut it&#x27;s all done in a very sub-&#x22;The Exorcist&#x22; way and in the end Ifelt it wrong to come down so conclusively on the side of the demons.<br><br>The acting was mixed in quality, the children unable to portray theduality of their personalities convincingly and the actor playing Quintlacking menace entirely. However, Michelle Dockery, as the strickengoverness, was convincing in both appearance and conviction, with theomnipresent Sue Johnston a sympathetic foil as the bemusedhouse-matron.<br><br>There were some scares deftly inserted along the way, punctuatedeffectively by well-crafted background music, but as I said earlier,the modernising of the story to include the nudity and violencedepicted here, overpowered, to me anyway, the thin line between fantasyand reality that served the original book so well.<br><br>A great story, lost somewhat in this particular re-telling.

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Reviewed by TheLittleSongbird 2/10

I like ghost stories as much as the next person. Turn of the Screw hadall the components for at least a watchable 90 minutes, as its sourcematerial is so good, so suspenseful and so delightfully ambiguous. Whata disappointment. Even on its own terms, Turn of the Screw was close todisastrous. In fact, the only redeeming quality was the excellent SueJohnston, she is very believable as the sympathetic foil.<br><br>If you want a great adaptation or film of the story/book, look nofurther than The Innocents with Deborah Kerr, a terrifying andunforgettable film that succeeds on its own merits too. This version ofTurn of the Screw is a poor adaptation of the story, the atmosphere wasempty and dull, also the ambiguity that made the story so unnerving isdumbed down. The dialogue is also very stilted, and doesn&#x27;t flow verywell from one scene to the next, while the story starts off well butbecomes a series of disconnected scenes. The pace is another problemtoo, like the atmosphere it is uninteresting and profoundly empty.<br><br>The production values didn&#x27;t do much for me either. The photography wasgood, as was the scenery and house, but the costumes felt like theycame from another period. The music is nothing memorable, probably themost memorable moment of sitting through this was my dad saying&#x22;somebody crucify those violins!&#x22; Though amusing at the time, I see hispoint, they were very shrill and overbearing. The acting was poor.Johnston was very good though, but Michelle Dockery no matter how hardshe tries looks too modern and any genuine fright she tries to conveyfeels forced. The children fare no better, the characters are writtenso poorly that I had trouble engaging with them and their situation.<br><br>So all in all, a big disappointment. Back in 2009, like the otherreviewers here(all of whom I agree with completely), I was lookingforward to this more than any other programme(even more so thanCranford and Poirot actually, to be honest both were much better too),but like 2010&#x27;s Whistle and I&#x27;ll Come to You it was the biggestdisappointment of the festive season. 2/10 for Sue Johnston. BethanyCox

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Reviewed by Conspirator Slash 4/10

I hated the 20&#x27;s costumes, this just NEEDS the fancy Victorianclothing! Also, automobiles? Stupid frame story? And using Voice Of TheLegion, one of the worst horror tropes? No match to The Innocents -that was perfectly creepy and beautiful (Miles could have beenprettier, but otherwise everything as it should be).<br><br>Here? Meh. Adding random new characters was unnecessary.<br><br>Music - can&#x27;t even recall it. Go for the opera if you want the REALmusic of this, also, Britten understood a lot more than this movie&#x27;sdirector. It was not just about *possessing* children. It was more, atleast in the case of Quint/Miles.

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