Review: Turn of the Screw (BBC Film)

Words by Naomi Jefferys

“There you are. We’ve been waiting for you”

The Turn of the Screw is a novella by Henry James which the BBC adapted in 2009. The story follows a Governess living and working in a beautiful house. She is the Governess of two ‘creepy’ blonde children, Miles and Flora. One of the many questions which the adaptation and the novella begs to ask is the question of madness and the devil.

Sandy Welch, the writer of the adaptation of the film decided to set it in the 1920s, instead of at the turn of the century how Henry James originally wrote it. The wound is still fresh for the soldiers in the mental asylum which Ann is forced to go to.

There are stellar performances, particularly from Michelle Dockery (otherwise known as Lady Mary Crawley in Downton Abbey) who carries the weight of the film on her shoulders.  Her portrayal of Ann is brilliant, the film opens with Ann dishevelled in a mental asylum, so the entirety of the film is told in flashback form. So the contrast of a ‘mad’ woman at the start of the film, to a decidedly naïve portrayal throughout the rest of the film, this makes her downfall all the greater.

If you’re in to big budget, special effects horror films such as Saw or Scream 4 then don’t watch this film. The effects are simple, but utterly terrifying. It is creepy, horror cinema at its best.

So if you’re still yearning for Halloween to return and you’ve still got some Haribos left then give this film a watch!

Top 5: Horror Quotes

Words by G. Bailey

Alien 1979: “You still don’t understand what you’re dealing with, do you? A perfect organism. Its structural perfection is matched only by its hostility… I can’t lie to you about your chances, but…you have my sympathies” — Ash (Ian Holm)

Saw 2004: “I want you to make a choice. There’s a slow-acting poison coursing through your system, which only I have the antidote for. Will you murder a mother and her child to save yourself? Listen carefully, if you will. There are rules. Let the game begin.” — Jigsaw (Tobin Bell)

Se7en 1995: “I visited your home this morning after you’d left. I tried to play husband. I tried to taste the life of a simple man. It didn’t work out, so I took a souvenir… her pretty head.” — John Doe (Kevin Spacey)

Scream 1996: “Do you like scary movies?”

Silence of The Lambs 1991: “A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti.” — Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins)

Review: Disturbia

Words by Edward Keeling

I imagine University students when asked about what constitutes horror paint a picture resembling something out of the Saw franchise, psychological torture and physical pain that makes them recoil in fright. However if you are of a more delicate nature or do not enjoy the genre horror per se, what is there for you? Disturbia is a film which ticks these boxes. Shia LaBeouf portrays the lead role of Kale Brecht a 17 year old boy put under house arrest for ‘popping’ his Spanish teacher. Imagine that? Boredom personified. What is there to do other than spy on your neighbours? Kale’s observational skills becoming like a sixth sense, in similar likeness to a blind mans hearing becoming more acute. As the film develops Kale becomes engaged in scenarios which range from the funny and romantic with the hot neighbour Ashley (Sarah Roemer) to the dark and gruesome nature of his encounters with the serial killer Mr Turner (David Morse) i.e. something for everyone. However don’t get me wrong, this film is far from a classic. It has critiques that would not be linked to world renowned films of any genre. Disturbia’s plot feels fairly predictable in its attempts to uncover the real persona of Mr Turner whilst the atmosphere clearly changes to an everyday, ‘seen a thousand times before’, horror film two/thirds of the way in. Nevertheless although certainly not in the same league as Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘Rear Window’ it is certainly worth a watch. Disturbia is a film that is never dull and highly recommended on my list in the family horror category, especially as the girlfriend cannot stand the rated 18 horrors!