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Rebecca is suspicious of Ernessa, the new arrival at her boarding school. But is Rebecca just jealous of Ernessa's bond with Lucie, or does the new girl truly possess a dark secret?

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(novel), (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Anne Day-Jones ...
...
...
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Laurence Hamelin ...
Kathleen Fee ...
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...
...
...
Mr. Davies
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Rebecca's Father
Steffi Hagel ...
Young Rebecca
...
Policeman
Roxan Bourdelais ...
Sofia's Boyfriend
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Storyline

Rebecca is suspicious of Ernessa, the new arrival at her boarding school. But is Rebecca just jealous of Ernessa's bond with Lucie, or does the new girl truly possess a dark secret?

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Every girl has her secrets.

Genres:

Drama | Horror | Mystery

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some bloody images, sexuality, drug use and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

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Language:

Release Date:

17 May 2012 (United Arab Emirates)  »

Also Known As:

Die Sehnsucht der Falter  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$2,276 (USA) (20 April 2012)

Gross:

$3,838 (USA) (27 April 2012)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The novel studied in Mr Davies' class is "Carmilla" by Sheridan Le Fanu. The illustrations seen in the film are by David Henry Friston who illustrated the story when it appeared in serial form in "The Dark Blue", a London literary magazine of the 1870s. See more »

Quotes

Rebecca: You're wrong. The good things I remember about my father - the walks we took, the fairy tales he read to me - they all really happened.
Ernessa: He read you other fairy tales that you forgot.
[singing]
Ernessa: # My mother, she butchered me. My father, he ate me. My sister, little Anne-Marie, she gathered up the bones of me, and tied them in a silken cloth to lay under the juniper. Tweet, tweet, what a pretty bird am I! #
See more »

Soundtracks

Nocturne Opus 9 No. 1
Written by Frédéric Chopin
Performed by Lesley Barber
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
An excellent example of what filmmaking used to be...
22 July 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I randomly selected and streamed this film last night on Netflix, enjoyed it, and checked today to see what others were saying about it. I was surprised to find harsh words about the film, and they made me wonder why people would react this way to a well-made story like this. The cinematography is lovely. The music is so well suited that it plays unnoticed beneath the visuals – never clashing with the emotional content of the scenes. The sound editing is top notch. The young actors are all excellent. Set design is spot on for the story. No dialog is wasted. Etc. etc.

So what was the problem? My personal reaction was quite good. When it started, I expected a bad film – another sappy story about girls at school. In fact, the only scene I didn't care for was the girls "partying" in their rooms. Such a cliché rendering. But the rest was endearing. The film seduced me, drawing me in further and further as I watched. It's not revolutionary, to be sure, but why does every film have to be revolutionary? We don't hold music to that type of criteria. "Oh, another blues song. That's been done…"

Harron's achievement here is in the mood of this piece. I see people complaining about the connecting scenes, and I think about how much they must hate a film like Upstream Color or Tree of Life or Melancholia (though those films are rated quite a bit higher). The Moth Diaries is not like those films because it has a much more grounded story.

Why are people down on this film? My best guess is that the negative reactions this film received are indicative of the altered nature of film itself. The Moth Diaries takes a different tack than contemporary blockbusters. It's not The Conjuring (a great horror film), which twists every few minutes and keeps throwing shocks at you, making you squirm in your seat. But it's not intended to be. It's not a shock piece. It is a mood piece, and Harron does a beautiful job of establishing a consistent mood throughout, a mood that captures appropriate emotional content for the age-rage of the characters in the story. Had this movie been released in the 1970s, it would have found a large, receptive audience. I, for one, found it refreshing to watch a film that takes its time building mood and environment and character.

The strength of the film is its subtlety. Unfortunately, it appears that subtlety is lost on many contemporary film goers. For me, The Moth Diaries returned me to the days when movies could be captivating and sensory without abandoning story in service to "art." I liked it and I'll be tracking Mary Harron's work from now on.


15 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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