Deborah Kerr (in the performance of her career) plays the emotionally repressed vicar's daughter who takes up a job as a governess to two seemingly angelic orphans. Gradually coming to believe that the children are possessed by the perverse spirits of their former governess and her sadistic lover, she begins to see manifestations of the ghosts prowling the huge gothic mansion of Bly House. Director Jack Clayton sustains a superbly haunting atmosphere throughout the film, and like James' original work, cleverly retains the ambiguity of wether the ghosts are real or the products of the governess's fevered imagination. Aided by Freddie Francis's exquisitely inventive and atmospheric CinemaScope photography, we, like the governess, are never quite sure what unspoken horrors are lurking beyond the edge of the frame and are kept guessing until the film's tragic conclusion.
Classic film - essential viewing
- The Innocents review by PV
(1) of (4) members found this review helpful.
You rated this film: 5
If you've seen 'The Others', then you see this film, you'll see where 'The Others' got all its ideas from. Brilliant writing - mostly by Truman Capote - and well-adapted from Henry James' classic Turning of the Screw, this film still has the ability to shock and scare.
Wonderful classic horror
- The Innocents review by JD
(0) of (1) members found this review helpful.
You rated this film: 4
This is probably the best horror film I have ever seen because there is much more than just horror. I was not drawn in at first because it seemed dated and unnecessarily upper class, but for the big house, creaky floored, evil servant atmosphere it has to be like this. The direction would have been outstanding in any era but startlingly good for 1961. The acting is also strangely untheatrical. My slightest criticism would be that the balance of "is she mad or are they evil" was too close and I was unsure in the final scene which to believe. The other thing is that I am not a great horror fan. If you are this is easily a 5 star.