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Classic Horror

  • Jun 22, 2009
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Henry James was considered a great writer.  Of course, the writing style of the time was very verbose and probably somewhat difficult on modern readers.  James wrote one supernatural ghost story, THE TURN OF THE SCREW.  I enjoyed the book, but I will admit that I did have problems with the extremely verbose style James chose.  The story of a former governess and a former gardener, both now dead, planning to inhabit the bodies of two children so they can live again is scary on its own.  Then, this film came out in 1961, my senior year in high school.  The only actor/actress I knew of in this film was the star, the new governess, Deborah Kerr.  What a beautiful woman!!!!  I was floored!!!  No hideous monsters, no graphic gore, no graphic sex and nothing really terrifying visually.  Yet, the actors, the director and the screenwriters have created a truly terrifying experience with mood, camera angle and "innocent" scenes that bring gooseflesh to your arms and cause the hair at the back of your neck tingle.  The only other horror film that affected me this strongly was the 1963 version of THE HAUNTING.  This is available to rent and/or to buy and it's usually fairly cheap on DVD because it doesn't have the monsters or special effects so important to today's horror film fans.  This is a great one, though.  My second favorite horror film of all time.

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June 23, 2009
I was trying to look up something on this but I couldn't find it. I would have sworn that there was another film version of this made within the last 10 years or so. I thought that it had starred Virginia Madsen but I can't find any reference to it under either title or under her name--and I know I saw it. In fact I owned it at one time.
June 23, 2009
I am a huge fan of Virginia Madsen, but I don't know about her playing the governess in this one. If there is another movie based on this novel, I would like to see it, but I don't see how it could be any better than this one. This film STILL gives me the creeps when I watch it, especially the scene by the pond. Brrrrrr!!!!
June 23, 2009
It wasn't any better and she didn't fit the part at all. Its strange that I can't find any mention of this anywhere. I know that I owned it.
June 23, 2009
On IMDB, they list a TV movie starring Patsy Kensit. It got a horrible review. In fact, the reviewer actually said "Kensit is no Kerr". That's obvious. Could that be the one?
June 23, 2009
That's it! There was a time when I used to confue Kensit and Madsen all the time! Thanks for finding that for me. I just did sort of a quick search. As I recall it came out as TURN OF THE SCREW, am I right on that part of it at least?
June 23, 2009
Yes. That was the name of the novel. I never saw that one, or any of the others listed. After I saw this movie in the theater, I did run out and read the novel. I can't imagine another version being as good as this one. This one is CREEPY
June 23, 2009
Its funny that I used to confuse Kensit and Madsen all the time, they don't really look that much alike or anything. I'm glad we worked out that question of the movie though. I was fairly certain I hadn't completely lost my mind in spite of the BATTLESTAR mixup.
June 23, 2009
Both are blonde. Madsen is the sexier smoker, and Kensit, after her surgery, has the bigger boobs. That's how I tell them apart. Didn't you ever notice that Virginia smokes at least once in every movie she has ever made?
June 23, 2009
Nope. But then there was a time when everyone smoked non-stop.
June 23, 2009
Yeah, but Virginia Madsen is the serious actress smoking fetish queen. Did you see CANDYMAN?
June 23, 2009
And the sequel. But Barker never did much for me. In his own make he can be as trite as King.
June 23, 2009
No, but did you notice how many times Virginia Madsen did french inhales in close up? I have a friend who has a serious smoking fetish and that was all he could talk about after we saw the movie
June 23, 2009
You mean fetish literally then!
June 23, 2009
I guess. I know that he will stop and stare when a good looking woman lights up a cigarette, and he talks about actresses who are "sexy smokers" and he has told me that Madsen is at the top of the list
June 23, 2009
You'd think it would be some European actress--specifically someone French since they still go at it like smokestacks.
June 24, 2009
I really don't know. I look elsewhere than cigarettes. I guess I'm just a dirty old man
June 25, 2009
Somebody certainly is!.
June 22, 2009
Great review, Ukddude. I agree, this movie is absolutely terrifying. Modern filmmakers could learn a thing or two from it.
June 22, 2009
Thanks, KC. The only horror movie that got me more than this one was the 1963 THE HAUNTING. You are right. I wish modern filmmakers would learn from these two. You don't have to have blood and sex to scare.
June 22, 2009
Oooo . . . I saw this film way too young and was scared for days and had trouble going to sleep for a long time.
June 22, 2009
It had that affect on me as well, and I was in my teens. This is a scary movie!!!!!
More The Innocents reviews
review by . April 06, 2011
An extraordinary tale of evil and possession
"If I should die before I wake," says 8-year-old Flora, kneeling at her bedside, "I pray the Lord my soul to take. Miss Giddens," she asks her new governess, "where would the Lord take my soul to?"       "To heaven," Miss Giddens tells her.       "Are you certain," Flora asks.       "Oh, yes, of course, because you are a very good girl."       …
About the reviewer
John O'Connor ()
Ranked #85
I am retired military. I served 6 years of Navy, nearly 6 years of Air Force, and just over 22 years of Air National Guard. I also was a full time technician for the Air Guard for just over 21 years. … more
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About this movie



Genre: Horror, Action, Adventure
Release Date: December 25, 1961
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Screen Writer: Truman Capote
Runtime: 1hr 40min
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"Classic Horror"
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