A supernatural drama telling the story of three different families living in the same house in 1968, 1987 and the present day, linked by the spirit of the young daughter of the 1960s family, who drowned in mysterious circumstances.
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A teenage boy named Paul is haunted by apocalyptic dreams that nobody can explain. As if that weren't terrifying enough, he begins to see spirits of the dead, known as The Fades, all around... See full summary »
Iain De Caestecker
2012; Nearly a year after their son goes missing, Londoners Gabe and Eve Caleigh and their two daughters move to Crickley Hall. Gabe hopes a few months away from the city, will help his family heal. But it soon becomes apparent, their new home is haunted. 1943; Crickley Hall is an orphanage run by Augustus Cribben and his sister Magda. The orphans live in terror of the Cribbens, especially Augustus whose brutality knows no bounds. Nancy, the children's new tutor, is appalled by the abuse and determined to find a way to save them... Can these dark secrets of the past help the Caleigh's find their son? Written by
This ghost story from beyond the pond toggles regularly and frequently, without notice, across the pale between Then and Now. (Mixed idioms are intentional.)
Then is at a private orphanage in 1943 Devon, at a time when children were bused from London to escape The Blitz. Primeval's Douglas Henshall plays the evil headmaster.
We start out, however, in the Now. Mother ("Eve Caleigh", played by Suranne Jones) and her five-year old Son have a special, even psychic, connection. Son disappears from the playground when Mother falls momentarily asleep. Mother is disconsolate for months thereafter.
Approaching the one-year anniversary of Son's disappearance, Father ("Gabe Caleigh", played by Tom Ellis) gets a job out west (in the aforementioned Devon of the novel), and the family takes the opportunity to move, in hopes of escaping the sad memories at home. The house they choose is the now-abandoned orphanage of Then; and Now, of course, it's haunted by ghosts of children and staff who died in a long-ago "flood".
(The couple have two other children, both girls, one preschool; and the school bus which collects the older one for classes is labeled, "Manchester", per the location of filming.)
Once ensconced in the haunted house, Mother finds and reassembles a screw-driven toy top like one I had as a child, but mine was less fancy than the one used here and she uses it to reconnect psychically with her lost son, believing him to be still alive. From here, she employs extraordinary means to find him, beset all the while by Henshall's haunting.
This U.K. miniseries is an enjoyable Halloween treat, and I was happy to be able to watch the entire thing as a three-hour TV movie on BBC America the day before its scheduled U.K. broadcast.
(Note: This review is dated October 29 in my files, indicating the original scheduled airing in the U.K. It was not yet available for voting on IMDb then, hence my tardiness in submitting this review. December dates on previous reviews suggest that the U.K. presentation may have been delayed a month beyond the original scheduling.)
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