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7 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Pretty strange movie....

Author: lthseldy1 from Norfolk, VA
14 June 2005

This movie begins where a lady living in England with her father is tormented by the memories of her childhood as an illiterate struggling to read. Her father teases her and nags her about going to school and learning how to read so that she can get a job. The lady, Eunice ends up going to America instead and becomes a housekeeper for a wealthy doctor and his family. Eunice learns how to manipulate people into getting what she wants because she cannot read and becomes a living nightmare for the family. She soon befriends a local church going lady and finds comfort in meeting someone just as crazy and insane as she is. The two become like a Bonny and Clyde team and take on the doctor and his family for revenge. I liked this movie, but it was not a movie that I would remember or even rent again. But it is worth a watch but only if there are no other horror movies your interested in on the shelf.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

UGH! Very Creepy!

Author: Ddey65 from United States
24 April 1999

Rita Tushingham stars as a dyslexic British maid, and formerly abused child who's a little too sensitive about not being able to read. This is NOT a common slasher film, by any long shot, as these types of films were in the 1970's and '80's. After seeing what she does in the kitchen, I've barely been able to hold a knife, or even think about similar scenes from horror films for months. As of this writing, I can't get that scene, or an equally gruesome one from "Parents," out of my mind...and neither will you. And worse, you may even sympathize with her!

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

How the judgment is made

Author: trashgang from Midian
18 December 2008

A bit of a weird one this flick, a bit hard to find too, because it's a Ruth Rendall mystery. But this tale is filmed in a creepy way, it isn't your average thriller or frightening horror flick, it just get's you by the throat. First we noticed a girl with dyslexia being thrown away by society and her father. Sure, this flick has a message but you get it afterwards when the movie is over. When you're not "normal" and doesn't walk the line you will be torn apart. Nice to see too that they dare to speak about a new family were brother and sister, only by the law but have different mothers, fall in love. I liked this one a lot even that there isn't almost no blood. It's the atmosphere, you even start to get some feelings for the dislexia girl, it could happen in real life. If you ever see this flick in your local store, don't hesitate. And the good old cockney accent really did it for me.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

She cooks, she cleans, she kills ... but she doesn't read.

Author: brendanrau from United States
21 April 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

It's unfortunate that this adaptation of Ruth Rendell's excellent novella "A Judgement in Stone" has dispensed with Giles Mont and replaced him with the comparatively weakly drawn Bobby Coverdale. Giles, the possibly autistic son of Jacqueline Coverdale, is an exquisite foil to Eunice Parchman; both Giles and Eunice isolate themselves from society, though Giles does so by obsessive reading, and Eunice does so by obsessively avoiding the printed word. Giles, through an indefatigable search for his spiritual leanings, also works as a foil to Joan Smith, whose shallow but militant religious fanaticism drives her to conspire in the murder of the Coverdales.

Rita Tushingham is excellent as Eunice Parchman, but she alone can't make up for what the screenplay lacks. What a shame.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

There is no fear greater than illiteracy.

Author: ThrownMuse from The land of the Bunyips
8 March 2007

Rita Tushingham plays a British woman who murders her father and has an even worse secret: she's illiterate! Oh no! What to do? She moves to America to become a housekeeper for a (rather dysfunctional?!) wealthy family. All is fine and dandy until she flubs up on watering the patriarch's beloved plants because she can't read the instructions he left for her while they were on vacay. This is mostly dull, but has nice touches like incestuous step-sibs, the housekeeper's hilarious whore-turned-religious-freak gal-pal, and a finale that's to die for. Tushingham is excellent as always and revels in the mousiness of her character.

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Lacklustre Adaptation

Author: anxietyresister from United Kingdom
3 June 2006

Based on a Ruth Rendell novel, this is the tale of a young English girl called Eunice who goes to America to be the maid of a rich family. On the surface she seems to be the perfect worker and an excellent cook, but underneath festers years of resentment at being mocked because she can't read. She also has strange visions with lots of blood, and has a surprisingly quick temper.. a fact that her father has already found out to his cost. Her only friend after relocating to the States is a religious nut who used to be a prostitute, and thanks to her influence, Eunice is slowly pushed over the edge..

This is a rather dull psychological thriller which finally comes to life ten minutes before the end. Of course, by then it's too little too late. Rita Tushingham does a marvellous job in making Eunice a believable character with her solitary ways and slow decline into insanity. However, the screenplay doesn't give her enough to do other than hide in cupboards and peek round doors while listening to secret conversations. There is also a tedious half brother/sister relationship that could have easily been left on the cutting room floor, and a cute dog that always turns up where it's least wanted. This sort of thing was done better in the 90's on ITV when Rendell's books were divided into 120 minute episodes. Here it looks like they've had a bigger budget, but to the script and film's detriment. I give it a 3/10

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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

She cleans but cannot read.

Author: tamimarie228 from Iowa
14 June 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Eunice cannot read anything so she goes to the United States of America to become a maid. In the meantime she is completely psycho but it's sad because she cannot read. It was funny when she wet her pants but I think that everyone was too hard on her. Who cares if she couldn't read? She was a maid and they could have helped her read or sent her somewhere to learn how to read. I didn't think that it was that big of a deal and she seemed like a good maid except when she went completely nuts. It wasn't that great of a movie and they could have given her a better weakness than she couldn't read. She could have just been completely psycho. Anyway, I did like her crazy religious friend but the movie is something to clean out of a box of bad movies.

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