1920, rural Ireland. Anglo Irish twins Rachel and Edward share a strange existence in their crumbling family estate. Each night, the property becomes the domain of a sinister presence (The ... See full summary »
20 years after her family was publicly destroyed by her teenage sister's mysterious affliction, a young woman tells the story in her own words, revealing a far more terrifying version of what really happened in her childhood home.
Stained by the brutal death of a young woman, the tranquil and vacant New England mansion of the prolific horror authoress, Iris Blum, has become her silent prison. To take care of the ageing writer who suffers from chronic dementia, the property's manager hires the gentle and soft-spoken live-in hospice nurse, Lily Saylor; however, this is far from an ordinary job. Little by little, Lily's imagination will run wild, as shadowy sightings of eerie female spectres blur the frail boundaries between reality and fantasy, fable and truth. Iris has talked about man's coexistence with the spectral realm in her novels that chill the bone to the marrow. Could her secluded white house at the end of the road be an aerial limbo caught in the middle of life and death?Written by
It had been reported that Debbie Harry was initially attached to play Iris Blum, though the role ultimately went to Paula Prentiss. However, director Oz Perkins has stated that the role was always thought for Prentiss, who worked with his father in "Catch-22" and remained friends since. Harry was indeed cast first, but dropped out a few weeks before filming began. See more »
The narrative of the story says the young bride was brought to the house her husband built for her in 1812, but the dress and hairstyle she is wearing, as a ghost, is from the period of the 1850s to the 1860s. Since she was murdered soon after moving into the house, the dress and hairstyle do not match her backstory. See more »
I am very seldom required to wear white by my employers. But, anyway, I always do. It has always been that wearing white reassures the sick that I can never be touched, even as darkness folds in on them from every side, closing like a claw.
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This film would be perfectly passable were it not for the jarring internal disconnects with how the main character is portrayed. The actress at the center of the story is Ruth Wilson, whose performances as a homicidal but supposedly likable psychopath in Luther I have found occasionally entertaining. The action takes place in a beautiful old house with lovingly crafted costumes, and the narration is poetic, though sometimes too much so. But the main character, Lily, supposedly 28 (as we are told in the very first scene) is played sometimes like a 40-year-old who has seen too much, and sometimes with the dialog of a 24-year-old, and always with the narration of someone who has taken a lot of Xanax. Lines like a joking "You slut!" or casual conversation between Lily and the television set have the same delivery as meditations on the nature of ghosts who can only half-see their own deaths. I vacillated between blaming the screenwriter, the director or the actress, but was never able to settle into the film because of it. Combined with poorly plaid horror tropes like mysterious whispering and staticky appliances, the movie does little to scare or intrigue.
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