A descent into Hell is triggered when "Ex-Lord" Donald Brocklebank finds that he must leave Longleigh House for London to find a way to pay for the medical treatments for his wife Nancy. ... See full summary »


Simon Rumley


Simon Rumley
10 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview:
Leo Bill ... James
Roger Lloyd Pack ... Donald
Kate Fahy Kate Fahy ... Nancy
Sarah Ball Sarah Ball ... Nurse Mary
Neil Conrich Neil Conrich ... Policeman
Richard Cotton ... Nurse Mike (as Richard Wills-Cotton)
Alan Perrin Alan Perrin ... Nurse Bob
Richard Syms ... Vicar


A descent into Hell is triggered when "Ex-Lord" Donald Brocklebank finds that he must leave Longleigh House for London to find a way to pay for the medical treatments for his wife Nancy. Alone, his over-protected, delusional, adult son, James, fancies himself in charge of the manor house with his terminally ill mother, and barricades the two of them into the house for a series of ever more panicked home treatments, mistakenly protecting her from the arrival of Nurse Mary and any outside help. Written by Bob Lee

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Terror by good intentions.


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


The Longleigh House location was once a World War I hospital, the Hawtreys School for young men, and then was run as a drug rehabilitation clinic. Local reports are that at least three ghosts, an old woman, a soldier, and a child who fell 75 feet while sliding down the banisters, still inhabit the Tottenham House near Savernake, England. See more »


[first lines]
Donald Brocklebank: [answering phone] Hello? Hello? Yes, yes I know. No, I didn't know that. No, that's not good at all. No, she doesn't know. Hmm. Hmm. Exactly. Okay, goodbye.
James: They going to make it?
Donald Brocklebank: No, they're not.
James: Can I look after mummy this time.
Donald Brocklebank: I'm not going away.
James: But you always say that, you always do.
James: [knocking] Some one's at the door!
[starts running]
Donald Brocklebank: Stop James, I said stop!
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User Reviews

ALL about good intentions...
13 November 2007 | by CoventrySee all my reviews

Unwritten rule in horror #1: ALWAYS remain somewhat skeptical whenever you rent a movie of which the DVD cover is literally bespattered with praising quotes from acclaimed horror magazines and/or listings of awards won at Festivals no one ever heard of. This might be an indication that the distributors need extra reasons to convince people into renting/buying their film, because the plot summary and the still images on the back of the box aren't convincing enough. The box of "The Living and the Dead" features quotes stating "Brilliant", "Disturbing", "Harrowing" and "The Greatest Film Ever Made", but personally I don't think the film deserves any of those compliments. The tagline, on the other hand, is very truthful. It says "Terror by good intentions" and not only does this simple sentence summarize the whole plot, it also accurately describes the entire film production! The story revolves on the physical, financial and mental downfall of a once-eminent family of three living in a massive mansion in rural Britain. The father is nearly bankrupt, the mother is terminally ill and the twenty-something son James is mentally handicapped. When the father is forced to travel to London to solve his financial issues, James insists to look after his mother instead of an expensive nurse. Naturally his intentions are good, but his lack of realism and intellect make it a long period of pure agony and humiliation for his poor old mother. Ah, good intentions… Writer/director Simon Rumley obviously had plenty. The concept of the film is original and fairly engaging, but it's too little to revolve a whole movie around. "The Living and the Dead" suffers from far too many dreadfully dull moments and Rumley only seems to fill those moments up with lame visual gimmicks and pointless padding footage. He particularly seems to be fond of the fast-forward filming style. Very often we just see accelerated images of James running up and down the house for no real reason other than to kill a few extra minutes of playtime or to set up the viewers with a dreadful headache. If anything, "The Living and the Dead" is the type of film that can make even the calmest person nervous and irritated. The pointlessness of this film is really frustrating, good intentions or no good intentions. The finale is highly implausible, the film honestly isn't that shocking as it thinks it is and Rumley's atypical directing skills almost feel pretentious and arrogant. Seriously, you're not Werner Herzog or David Lynch, mister.

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Official Sites:

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Release Date:

23 September 2006 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Entre vivos y muertos See more »

Filming Locations:

England, UK See more »


Box Office


GBP650,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


(European Film Market)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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