In order to authenticate some historical papers in a cathedral town, Oxbridge academic Anderson stays at a local hotel in room 12, initially disregarding the lack of a number 13 as ... See full summary »

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Cast

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Professor Anderson
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Mr. Harrington, Cathedral Archivist
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Gunton, Hotel Landlord
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Edward Jenkins
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Alice
...
Thomas
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Storyline

In order to authenticate some historical papers in a cathedral town, Oxbridge academic Anderson stays at a local hotel in room 12, initially disregarding the lack of a number 13 as provincial superstition. During the night, noise conspires to keep him awake and the historian is astonished to come face to face with door number 13. Continuing his work, a history of a reformation era witchcraft scandal emerges. The nocturnal disturbances escalate, leading Anderson with no choice but to open the door to room number 13... Written by Anonymous

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ghost story | ghost | See All (2) »

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Horror

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22 December 2006 (UK)  »

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Version of Mystery and Imagination: Room 13 (1966) See more »

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User Reviews

Quality little chiller for a dark evening on a windy night
10 March 2007 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Academic Anderson comes to a small English cathedral town to authenticate some newly discovered letters that appeared to date back to Cromwell. At night he stays in room 12 of his hotel and by day he works out of the cathedral chambers. One day he discovers a letter from a mysterious figure called Nicholas Franken, while also looking into some shadowy allegations made against a former bishop of the town. As he digs though, he finds more mysterious goings-on exist outside of his letters and historical records.

An atmospheric little ghost story this, based on a short story by MR James. Delivered by BBC4, the film doesn't really deliver all the answers that one would like and modern viewers such as myself might notice that it is not all tied up and resolved at the end in the way that many of our stories now are. However this is a slight point because really the film does much better where we're not sure at all what is going on and are caught up like Anderson in the fear and desire to get to the bottom of things.

It is not particularly scary and again modern viewers who maintain that horror = gore will be left cold by this; however it is very creepy and it produces this very well. The sound design is well engineered to produce gradual noises and sudden silences while the visual effects are restrained and all the better for it. Wise leads the cast well while Freeman and David Burke both provide solid turns as the older figures in the story. I must admit that I didn't really like Tom Burke as Jenkins, but mostly because his character just felt like a red herring for most of the film.

Overall though I found it enjoyable as it got by with its strong sense of atmosphere covering over for the lack of detail and slightly slow pace. Perhaps not the strongest thing that BBC4 were responsible for last year but it is still a quality little chiller for a dark evening on a windy night.


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