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In Victorian England, the uncle of orphaned niece Flora and nephew Miles hires Miss Giddens as governess to raise the children at his estate with total independence and authority. Soon after her arrival, Miss Giddens comes to believe that the spirits of the former governess Miss Jessel and valet Peter Quint are possessing the children. Miss Giddens decides to help the children to face and exorcise the spirits. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The film begins with a totally black screen and the sound of Flora singing for several seconds; then the 20th Century Fox logo fades in and out. The singing continues for a few seconds before the opening credits begin. As the credits display, we see an anguished Miss Giddens praying on the left side of the screen. Her actions are not explained until the film's climax. See more »
They sure don't make movies like this one anymore. This is one of the few horror movies that does not have gory or graphic images in it. Instead, the spooks in this movie are presented in a subtle way....yet, the movie is quite scary. This is the type of horror movie that I like, one in which every now and then you see a frightening image or a startling scene, and that image or scene lingers in your mind.
Everything about this movie is haunting. First, there's the song at the beginning: you hear a young girl's voice singing a beautiful yet somber song. Later you hear that song in several scenes in the movie.
Second, there's the setting: this movie takes place in a large Victorian mansion with many rooms and passages, while only about eight people live in it....what could be more eerie than that?
Then there's the exceptional cinematography. The black-and-white photography is perfect for this movie. This movie would not have been too creepy if it had been done in color. Further, many of the shots were innovative and the lighting was used ingeniously in some of the scenes.
Additionally, I liked the way that the director chose to play around with the sound, which brought more of an element of mystery to the movie. In one particular scene, there was a lot of noise initially....and in a split second there was dead silence....then several seconds later, it was noisy all over again (all in the same scene).
But what I think is the most interesting thing about this movie is the fantastic performance by Deborah Kerr. It's fascinating to watch her facial expressions in this movie. She demonstrates her character's fear quite well.
I also think that the actor who plays Quint is very scary-looking! He has a very sinister look, and it adds to the spookiness of this movie. If you really want to be spooked by this movie, watch it late at night with all of the lights off....dare to watch it by yourself.
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