This film sat on my harddrive for almost six month before I got round to watching it. It wasn't that I was busy for all this time but more than the idea of an ITV drama being any good was foreign to me and I decided to watch other things instead. When I finally watched it I must admit it was almost because I felt I "had" to and did not expect much. On the contrary though the film is an effective version of the famous story that is strong in several areas. The direction avoids the usual "TV" feel that many of these one-off ITV dramas seem to have and instead is very atmospheric and dark.
It is not as smart as I would have liked and some aspects of the material seems very rushed due to the time constraints, while others are all a bit too convenient in the name of keeping things moving and limiting development time required. However these are forgivable and the film does move along well, with plenty of dramatic moments and, surprisingly dark content. A brutal child murder caught me off-guard, as did some other moments, making it feel more than an attempt to make me watch adverts (which lets be honest, some ITV one-off dramas are all about). Although they are rushed the characters are quite good, particularly the monster. What it looks like is clear but, while the film controls direct vision of it, it isn't a big deal and there is no big reveal. This helps the viewer feel like it is the story not the effects that the makers are interested in.
The cast are pretty good. McCrory leads the cast well with a solid and pained performance. I would have liked to see her given a harder character and more time to work with but regardless she still does a good job. Purefoy is not as good and he feels quite unnecessary and I think you can see this in his performance. Support is solid enough and has a few recognisable faces in there in the form of Benedict Wong and Fraser James. Bleach's Monster is well played as it has enough to be afraid of but also enough to make you believe that it is just frightened.
Overall then a quite effective version of the famous story. It has its faults in the speed it does things and the odd "convenient" narrative device but mostly it is atmospheric, dark and interesting.