Cert 15 Stars 1
In squandering its grand Irish setting, superlative source material and a game cast in favour of tepid atmosphere, timid scares and bewildering incompetence, this supernatural gothic horror is an early contender for the worst film of the year.
Mackenzie Davis is a warm presence with a hard working line of quizzical looks and can scream to order, which are all useful traits playing Kate, a newly appointed governess to a wealthy seven year old orphan.
Brooklynn Prince is exuberant and engaging as Flora, she lives in a stately manor which is somewhat neglected since the groundskeeper mysteriously died.
Apparitions appear at windows, there are ghostly voices at night and then stranger things happen when Flora’s teenage brother unexpectedly arrives home from boarding school.
Played by Finn Wolfhard, Miles has a love of macabre practical jokes, predatory spiders and inappropriate behaviour.
Teasing violence and nudity but delivering neither, it updates Henry James’ novella The Turn of the Screw, from 1898 to 1994, but twists James’ studied ambiguity into rambling slipshod incoherence.