The Innocents

The Innocents

DVD - 2005
Average Rating:
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Adaptation of Henry James' Turn of the screw. A governess suspects her young charges are demonically possessed.

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Franln Sep 05, 2017

Very creepy and well done black & white 1961 horror movie I had never heard of. The cover doesn't do it justice. I keep thinking about it and how weird and taboo it is.

m
Mister_AKA
Jul 13, 2016

Can "horror" entertain and actually sustain itself without buckets of blood being splattered up the wall, without severed body-parts being found in the fridge, without a crazed maniac being on hand to line-up his victims?...... After watching "The Innocents", I believe that it can. And it can be done quite effectively, as well.

Eerie. Mesmerizing. And, yes, very Haunting...... This 1961 film (whose screenplay was co-written by Truman Capote) was based on Henry James' novel The Turn Of The Screw which was published in 1898.

o
Onewhoissaved
Oct 01, 2015

"The Turn of the screw", written by Henry James in 1898 and brilliantly brought to film as the "Innocents" in 1961 stars the incomparable actress Deborah Kerr. But without the children there is no point of even considering the title. Pamela Franklin as Flora was 11 years old. Martin Stephens as Miles was 12 years old. Each performs with eerie precision, as though the part was based on their story rather than the other way around. Children can have such vivid imaginations during the day and impossibly horrible nightmares. And yet the child wakens without remembering what made them scream in terror just hours ago. I know that describes my younger life. Would I be willing to relive those moments of horror when imagination and reality blended into a single vision that caused me to involuntarily scream? The film is black and white and I believe this presents a bleak realism that grips our imagination much more fully than one done in color. When the film is in color we marvel at the sets, the costumes, the panorama and forget about the story being dramatized. You can only pay attention to so much before the scene has moved on and we wonder just where are we now? When it's black and white we put in our own sense of color as it most affects us personally. I loved horror films and though the black and white ones gripped audiences because we struggle to input ourselves on so many concurrent levels. Enjoy the film, Watch it again a few years from now.

m
ManMachine
May 28, 2015

Movie quote - "Say his name and it will all be over."

Yes. This 1961 Supernatural-Thriller certainly had its fair share of good points, as well as its not-so-good points.

The one thing that really impressed me about this particular ghost story was that it delivered its eerie, little tale, quite effectively, without spilling even a single drop of blood.

I think that, alone, earns The Innocents some rightful and respectful recognition in the realm of "horror". 'Cause, even way back in 1961, a fright flick could never be expected to hold the viewer's rapt attention without the necessity of blood and gore.

Anyway - With strong performances given by all of its principal cast members, I thought that the overall subtlety of The Innocents' sinister and nightmarish tale was quite impressive. And I wasn't in the least bit disappointed with this supernatural story as it slowly, but surely, unravelled its mystery of mounting madness that seemed to rise from the depths of a very dark and curious netherworld.

h
hoacornell
Feb 27, 2015

Simply beautiful setting for a wonderful movie. One of Britain's finest homes surrounded by beautiful gardens and ponds. Deborah Kerr adds beauty to the film in her character and in charm as a person. Truly a masterpiece of film work that I shall treasure for a long time to come!

g
garycornell
Jan 30, 2015

Chilling suspense with a talented cast led by Deborah Kerr. The black and white film is shot so perfectly that you believe that candles are their only light at night. Filmed in an English Mansion that simply is the height of beauty. Deborah Kerr is a lovely governess of the household of two children. You won't want to miss this film. It simply is filled with surprises!

j
jazeebelle
Dec 17, 2014

This movie is downright creepy, disturbing and scary. (This is coming from a seasoned HorrorWhore). The under toned tensions alone are enough to put you ill at ease. If you are looking for blood and gore, this isn't the movie for you. If, on the other hand, you are looking for some psychological horror, do NOT pass this opportunity.

n
Nursebob
Dec 13, 2014

Based on Henry James’ The Turn of the Screw, this fine slice of gothic horror follows a young governess and the two children entrusted to her on a lonely, isolated English estate. At first miss Giddens is delighted with the huge empty mansion surrounded by fields and lakes even though her only adult company is an elderly housekeeper, Mrs. Grose, and a few background servants. Little Flora proves to be equally delightful with her neatly starched pinafores, precocious mannerisms, and surprisingly expansive vocabulary. But when Flora’s brother Miles returns home after being expelled from boarding school under troubling circumstances things begin to change. Despite a stiff formality that belies his years Miles appears to be a perfectly well-behaved child, but behind his innocent questions and lingering stares there lurks the faintest air of menace. An unnatural bond exists between the two children as if they were involved in a monstrous game which miss Giddens finds “...secretive, and whispery, and indecent” And then the ghostly apparitions begin to escalate with malevolent faces in the window, cries in the night, and a pale figure standing amongst the reeds. Gleaning a bit of the estate’s troubled history from a reluctant Mrs. Grose, Giddens convinces herself that the children are innocent pawns in a horrific supernatural conspiracy---but will she be able to save them? Against a backdrop of moonlit gardens, creaking hallways, and decaying statuary director Jack Clayton spins a classic haunted house tale replete with hints of madness and melancholy. His horror is both overtly real and deeply psychological for despite the spectral visitations and slamming shutters the real terror lies in miss Giddens’ eyes as her uneasy concerns soon evolve into wild accusations and paranoia. Lastly, Clayton’s assured hand is readily apparent in a frantic climax which comes full circle and lends meaning to the film’s enigmatic opening scenes. Chilly!

j
jjankie
Nov 03, 2014

@slick - what a horrid review. "no blood, no gore...etc" Is that your idea of horror? This is a worthy companion piece to Robert Wise's The Haunting, which is possibly the best pysche-horror film of all.

ravenheart Oct 05, 2014

I would give the setting and cinematography for this 5 stars, as they really did a great job with art design, settings, and framing shots well. But, the screenplay is really what drags it down. The dialogue works pretty well, but the story itself, and particularly the ending just aren't engaging or complex enough for an adult to be entertained by it. I think maybe a lot of the folks who rate this movie really highly might be grading on a curve because they really enjoyed the book, The Turn of the Screw.

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