By all means--seek this out--hauntingly effective of Mr. de la Mare's classic yarn.
Those fortunate enough to have seen this eerie production when it aired in the U.S. on "Mystery," in the spring of 1984, will have assuredly not entirely forgotten it.
It is, indeed, a formidable task to undertake to commit Mr. de la Mare's evanescent terrors to film, and to my knowledge, no one had ever attempted it before this Grenada production.
Though I only saw it in its initial airing, and am thereby, basing this on recollections of twenty years standing, I can state categorically, that acting, production design, and atmosphere were all first rate, and suitably creepy. Mary Morris was ideal as the malefic aunt of the title, by turns, arch, simpering, and diabolic. One recalls her scenes holding court in the dining room--with her young charges completely in her thrall. Physically, the production is superb, with an old priory doubling as the Seaton chateau.
By all means seek this out!
The only other film that comes close to replicating the de la Mare "feel" is by another team of writers entirely. The film is Val Lewton's "Curse of the Cat People," where the scenes between Miss Julia Dean and Ann Carter in the old manse, are nothing, if not, "de la Marish." They in fact, seem somehow influenced by Mr. de la Mare's short story, "Alice's Godmother."
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