After the Grand Guignol horror of William Castle’s lurid 13 Ghosts, time to go down a more subtle avenue with the 1961 British horror classic The Innocents. Based on the Henry James novella The Turn of the Screw, this atmospheric slice of haunted gothic is a direct influence on the mood and look of the Nicole Kidman vehicle The Others and its claws are also in any number of other films that use chills and suggestion rather than shock and awe to fray the audiences nerves.
A young governess played by Deborah Kerr becomes convinced the house and grounds of the house where she works are haunted when her two charges start behaving oddly. The Innocents is more in line with a classic round the campfire ghost yarn or the chilling horror plays the BBC used to produce for Christmas in its golden era.
Although not a massive hit with audiences at the time (but then, neither was The Wizard of Oz… Or It’s A Wonderful Life), the film has grown in stature over the years and is now pretty much the benchmark for how to create a faultless haunted house movie. Martin Scorsese rates this film, placing The Innocents on his list of the 11 scariest horror films of all time while Time Out rates it 18th in it’s list of the 100 greatest British films.
Any horror fans and indeed any serious lover of cinema should watch this film and see how many genre rules are nailed down…
Break-out horror movie smash of the year that has been electrifying hardened genre fans and non-horror fans alike, “The Pact” combines the supernatural terrors of “Paranormal Activity” with the tense atmospherics of a serial killer thriller to create a unique, modern-day take on the classic ghost story.
And it’s out on October 1st! Pre-order yours here.
- Part I: Things That Stay Silent In The Night!
- Part II: The Terrifying Twenties
- Part III: The Uninvited
- Part IV: House On Haunted Hill
- Part V: Ghoulish Gimmicks & Shocking Spookshows
- Part VI: The Innocents – Classic British Chills
- Part VII: The Haunting
- Part VIII: Low Budget Terrors – Let’s Scare Jessica To Death!
- Part IX: The Amityville Horror
- Part X: There’s Something In The Fog!
- Part XI: The Shining
- Part XII: The Changeling