- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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An atmospheric, psychosexual ghost story. Kerr is excellent as a governess who fears her children are being exposed by ghosts of the past; viewers are left to question if there are ghosts or if there the projections of Kerr's imagination. The limited use of ghosts emphasize the uncanniness of the real and create claustrophobic horror. More chilling than scary, this film will have it's audience. I give it a 4/5.
over acted,and way over rated(4 stars really?)15 minutes into the film I didn't care what happened to any of the characters.
This film struck me as not being as frightening as it was disturbing. The child actors are glorious in their roles and, of course, Deborah Kerr is terrific. It does suspend belief, though, in that I'm not one to assert that ghosts come back and inhabit living bodies. What bothers me most, however, is the ending. There are no consequences shown for Kerr's character and we don't know if she was fired, thrown in jail or whatever. Her employer would most definitely want an accounting as to what occurred and the constabulary would too. The housekeeper would testify against her, as would the boy's sister. The evidence itself would scream guilt. Too much is left up in the air at the end. I also did not understand the full-on-the-lips kiss at the end. Perhaps it was a continuation of the one earlier in the film but it made no sense at the end. I spent a Friday afternoon viewing this film so it wasn't a total loss for me. I won't be viewing it again, though.
The Innocents - Thinking person's scary
What is still remarkable about this movie is how it gets under your skin if you take the ride. It is purposely slower at times to allow for back-story and build up. It doesn't need blood, gore, or extremes. You get mystery, creepy, atmospheric and foreboding. You also get subtext implications when they're made. Freddie Francis did the cinematography...which is especially good (a fine director in his own right as well) and Clayton's direction is amazing. Turn the lights out and the sound up (best way to appreciate all the creepy/cool flourishes). This is based on Henry James' "Turn of the Screw". While it's been filmed since and it inspired a kinky prequel with Marlon Brando (The Nightcombers), there is nothing like this version (anchored by Deborah Kerr). It's just a great ghost story with great execution.
Except for the wonderful acting of the children in this movie it made little sense. The governess seemed more neurotic than anything and the ending is ridiculous. The child dies, would it not be best to let him be. I would never watch this movie again and wish i never had.
One of the best films I've ever seen
- Oxana Szwec
Beautiful black & white cinematography, scenery, costuming and presentation of the victorian era. Brilliant performances by the actors, especially the children (all well cast) and superb dialog. Gripping, suspenseful and completely unpredictable with some lovely special effects. One of the best films I've ever scene (pun intended :)
- Dashiell Barnes
One of the creepiest films I've seen. The atmospheric B&W mansion is creepy in day scenes & terrifying at night. Miss Kerr gives a great performance as Miss Giddens, a woman who as she learns more about the past, becomes more intense & determined to save her children. The scene where she's in a classroom & hears a ghost behind her is startling, however as she walks towards the ghost, it's gone & all that's left is a teardrop on a chalk board. That's the most terrifying scene for me. If you like horror films with a few dull scenes this film is for you. I give this a 3/5.
- Richard Noegel
The finest and most engaging horror film ever made. And with a screenplay by Truman Capote based upon the novella ("The Turn of the Screw") by Henry James, how could it not be? With Deborah Kerr in the lead role and Michael Redgrave in a brief cameo as "The Uncle," along with little Pamela Franklin ("The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie" with Maggie Smith and "The Nanny" with Bette Davis), it is a real winner. This B&W film is very "atmospheric," and, like "Agnes of God," it leaves the viewer uncertain as to just what happens every step of the way--including the very last scene. So it is not only a real, honest-to-goodness ghost story--maybe--but also a total mystery. It even takes place in an isolated and spooky mansion in the English countryside, and yet it is not in the least "clich-ish". The screenplay is true to the original novella, including the uncertainly as to whether the ghosts are real or whether the entire plot is only in the perhaps-tortured psyche of the Deborah Kerr character. It is entirely satisfying and it remains THE best ghost story ever put on film. Superb casting, acting, direction. SEE IT! You'll be hooked!
I saw this film when I was a relatively young boy and it stuck with me as one of the most chilling ghost stories I had ever seen. Just saw it again - comfortably into middle age - and found it every bit as frightening as before. The subtlety is a refreshing change from so many of the overblown efforts of recent years. A wonderful classic.
Not to be viewed alone...
- Kari Ellis
As a horror movie fan, this is the only movie I watch with THE LIGHTS ON! True to the Henry James story, the black and white only adds to the mystery, horror and ambiguity of the story. Kerr is fantastic, some of her best work. Add to your collection and invite superstitious friends over to watch...IN THE DARK!
- Silent in the Dark
This is a spine chilling film that will keep you gessing through out the film. Has an unexpected ending with a fearful twist. This movie I would Recomed to any one who likes old horror films.