5.5/10
8,205
146 user 91 critic

The Little Stranger (2018)

Trailer
2:28 | Trailer
After a doctor is called to visit a crumbling manor, strange things begin to occur.

Director:

Lenny Abrahamson

Writers:

Lucinda Coxon (screenplay), Sarah Waters (based on: "The Little Stranger" by)
Reviews
Popularity
3,893 ( 210)
3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Domhnall Gleeson ... Dr. Faraday
Will Poulter ... Roderick Ayres
Ruth Wilson ... Caroline Ayres
Liv Hill ... Betty
Charlotte Rampling ... Mrs. Ayres
Oliver Zetterström ... Young Faraday (as Oliver Zetterstrom)
Kathryn O'Reilly ... Elizabeth Faraday
Eddie Toll Eddie Toll ... Faraday's Father
Camilla Arfwedson ... Young Mrs Ayres
Tipper Seifert-Cleveland ... Susan Ayres
Peter Ormond ... Colonel Ayres
Bailey Rogers Bailey Rogers ... Young Boy at Fete
Richard Campbell ... Photographer
Harry Hadden-Paton ... Dr. Granger
Anna Madeley ... Anne Granger
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Storyline

THE LITTLE STRANGER tells the story of Dr. Faraday, the son of a housemaid, who has built a life of quiet respectability as a country doctor. During the long hot summer of 1948, he is called to a patient at Hundreds Hall, where his mother once worked. The Hall has been home to the Ayres family for more than two centuries. But it is now in decline and its inhabitants - mother, son and daughter - are haunted by something more ominous than a dying way of life. When he takes on his new patient, Faraday has no idea how closely, and how disturbingly, the family's story is about to become entwined with his own. Written by Focus Features

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

These Delusions Are Contagious See more »

Genres:

Drama | Horror | Mystery

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some disturbing bloody images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Second collaboration between Domhnall Gleeson and Will Poulter; the first was The Revenant (2015). See more »

Goofs

Early on, Domhnall Gleeson's character confesses to having "snuck up" into the house once as a child. No Brit of the time would have said "snuck", which is an Americanism that has only recently been creeping into British English. "Sneaked up" or "sneaked in". See more »

Quotes

Faraday: I did for a time consider leaving but... a man can not outrun himself.
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Connections

Referenced in The Film Review: Episode dated 21 September 2018 (2018) See more »

Soundtracks

Carelessly
Written by Norm Ellis, Charles Kenny & Nick Kenny
Published by Bourne Co/Francis Day & Hunter Ltd
Performed by Dai Pritchard, John G. Smith, Malcolm Baxter, Oliver Wilby & Rory McFarlane
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User Reviews

 
Perhaps the slowest film I've ever seen, yet it's strangely compelling.
24 September 2018 | by Pjtaylor-96-138044See all my reviews

For a while, 'The Little Stranger (2018)' is more than intriguing but the problem is that it's just incredibly slow, and I do mean slow - to the point that it quite possibly feels like one of the longest films I've ever seen, despite its relatively short 110 minute run-time. This initially feeds into a sort of refreshing restraint and willingness to take its time but eventually removes all sense of urgency from the piece. It's not even a 'slow-burn', really, it's just slow. Still, this isn't the death of the picture. It leaves a conventional pacing behind, instead moving towards a more long-winded and subtle style of storytelling that distinctly marks it as an adaptation of a novel - a medium in which the same time-frame and lack of conventional genre-elements would be infinitely more accessible due to the access it affords to its characters' inner thoughts. This approach is certainly distinct, and appreciated, even if it isn't entirely successful. Much of the picture is told through hints, which you do have to look hard to see, as the majority of the narrative seems to focus solely on its protagonist and his relationships to the other core players as opposed to anything 'spooky' or 'supernatural'. In reality, this isn't really a 'horror' film at all, despite being essentially marketed as such. It plays out much more like a straight drama, with some mysterious and maybe even ghostly elements added infrequently into the fray. Even so, there's an intermittent yet powerful sense of something unseemly going on behind the scenes. It's actually explored in a skilful yet tenuous manner that eventually reveals its debatable but, either way, decidedly unique concept and, even, execution. The feature makes you wait for its more powerful moments, with its final shot possibly being the key to answering its many questions. I say "possibly" because almost everything is purposely open-ended, though I feel there is a definite preferred reading. It's a shame, then, that some moments seem to be slightly more explicit than they perhaps ought to be and that a couple of perspective shifts feel ever so slightly out of place, included simply to inject some 'excitement' into the narrative. While you can certainly feel the length, it's never exactly boring and I think that these more intense sequences ought to have been omitted to maintain the otherwise rigid first-person perspective and to really hammer home the story's ambiguity. Speaking of our protagonist, he is especially straight-faced and maintains a stiff upper-lip throughout. This can sometimes make him a tad difficult to empathise with, mainly because it is difficult to know what he's thinking or, more importantly, feeling at any given moment. This portrayal is vital, though, as the restraint he shows plays into the themes of class so integral to the narrative. Though he often makes stubborn decisions, we typically understand his perspective and know what he has or hasn't seen. Plus, when it is called for, a wide range of emotions can be seen bubbling behind his eyes and it is these moments that mark Domnhall Gleeson's performance as much more nuanced than it might, at first, appear. The other characters don't hide their emotions as much but the fear of being impolite or perhaps being viewed as 'of unsound mind' tends to get the better of them. All the actors do a great job with the material, especially Ruth Wilson who delivers a fantastically layered performance that often says a lot without saying anything at all. Overall, the feature does do an excellent job at emulating the classic ghost stories from the 1800s, the kind in which nothing is explicit and the scariest thing that happens is if an ill feeling grips the narrator. It does genuinely feel like a novel translated straight to the big-screen, for better or worse. Furthermore, it's a different take on a well-worn genre, one that eloquently calls back to its roots while taking a more restrained approach than perhaps usual. It's interesting, especially in its themes and ideas, but it isn't always entertaining and it does become slightly less engaging during its mid-section. Still, I'd say it's an enjoyable experience on the whole. 6/10


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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site

Country:

UK | Ireland | France

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 September 2018 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

The Little Stranger See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$401,563, 2 September 2018

Gross USA:

$713,143

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,824,902
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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