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The Turning - Film Review

The Turning (2020)

Director – Floria Sigismondi

Starring – Finn Wolfhard, Mackenzie Davis, Brooklynn Prince and Barbara Marten.


The Turning of the Screw was a popular tale in 2020 for adaptations, with two different versions of the story being released within ten months of each other. Most people are likely to have heard of the popular Netflix TV version The Haunting of Bly Manor. Lesser known is the movie adaption, The Turning, which is closer linked to the 1898 book.


Kate Mandell (Mackenzie Davis) accepts a job as a live-in governess to tend to the needs of a young girl, Flora (Brooklynn Prince) at the Fairchild Estate. However, when Flora’s older brother Miles (Finn Wolfhard) returns home after being kicked out of yet another boarding school, horrifying events start to happen in the mansion. After hearing unusual whispers in the night, seeing things that aren't there and being at the receiving end of Miles' never-ending torment, Kate begins to fear she is losing her mind. As the rest of the film plays out, it seems that the house is full of paranormal activity.


I love old scary tales and seeing them come to life on the big screen is one of my favourite things, so this is a movie I was really looking forward to watching. I've never read the book on which the movie is based, so can't make a comparison between the two but I did fell as though The Turning didn't live up to its full potential. The story itself was appealing and engaging, the anticipation and suspense was palpable and the acting flawless. However, the run up to the ending felt rush and the big twist at the ending fell flat for me. I was left thinking “wait what is happening?” as was no doubt the filmmaker’s intention, but I think execution was underwhelming and left us more confused than wowed.


Having seen shows such as The Haunting of Hill House and The Haunting of Bly Manor, I was expecting to experience the same feel and visual that they brought to the screens. I do recommend this film for anyone who loves a spooky tale and likes watching a compelling story brought to life, but if you’re looking to be jumping out your seat in fright, then this is not for you.


I’m going to rate this a 5/10



Reviewed by Lynsey McLaughlin for Hellhound


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