Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Downton Abbey is Never Coming Back, so Go Watch The Turn of The Screw

All ghost stories are essentially a mystery, with an unsolved murder or a suicide in the past that is still haunting the present, and The Turn of The Screw (2009) featuring Lord and Lady Crawley, Dan Stevens and Michelle Dockery, is a near perfect blending of the original film The Innocents (1961) and the psycho-sexual violence of the prequel, TheNightcomers (1971).
There’s a haunting soundtrack reminiscent of an old Hammer movie as Michelle Dockery takes a nostalgic train ride into the English countryside
Michelle Dockery makes a perfect gothic heroine as Ann, the new governess, and her character is closer to Eva Green in Penny Dreadful than her Sybil Crawley personae.  She’s sexually repressed, but it’s post-Victorian England and you could argue that everyone was back then.  The time period has been moved forward to 1920s, I suppose because it’s more relevant to modern viewers than 1840 England, but invites the inevitable comparisons to Downton Abbey and Julian Fellowes.  The story told in flashbacks, and Ann is first seen in an asylum because the experience has driven her into a near-catatonic state.  Dan Stevens plays Dr. Fischer, the kindly psychiatrist searching for a scientific explanation to a supernatural problem.
The orphans Miles and Flora are still precocious beyond their years; it’s an essential element to the story.  There’s something particularly sinister about evil children and the corruption of the innocent, and the movie takes full advantage of that almost primordial theme.  Like the original film, Ann becomes convinced that the children are being possessed by their previous nanny and the evil Peter Quint, and you know from the start that she ends up in the madhouse.

Dan Stevens and Michelle Dockery actually met while filming this movie, and I’m certain their chemistry together led to their mutual casting in Downton.  Also featuring Sue Johnston as Mrs. Grose, the housekeeper, who would go on to portray Miss Denker, the Dowager Countess’ maid in that show about complicated entails, dead Turkish diplomats and gay footmen.



my first novel? thanks for asking:) I wrote a 4 book supernatural martial arts series concerning the ongoing feud between a group of kung-fu killer witches in san francsico’s chinatown.