The Turning (2020)

dir. Floria Sigismondi. Another retelling of the Henry James story ‘The Turn of the Screw’, where a young teacher (Mackenzie Davis, recently in TERMINATOR: DARK FATE (2019)) is engaged to educate the orphan girl (the brilliant child actor Brooklynn Prince, from THE FLORIDA PROJECT (2017)) of a wealthy family, with a dark past. It’s intentionally unclear wether the teacher is beset by phantoms, or is losing her mind. Very weak haunted house movie, sloppy special effects, with an inexplicably clumsy ending. The movie is for some reason set in 1994, which we know from a news clip at the beginning, covering the tragic death of Kurt Cobain. This is made even more irritating when there is no Nirvana, or any 1990s music in the film. Instead, the choice was made to commission contemporary artists to record new songs in a 1990s style, which to me seems to defeat the purpose of setting the film in 1994. Time would be better spent watching Jack Clayton’s version version of the same story, THE INNOCENTS (1961), starring Deborah Kerr.

By Nicholas Hudson-Ellis

Co-Founder & Film Programs Manager of Bangkok Screening Room.

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