A renowned author and debunker of hoaxes, Florence Cathcart is called to a provincial boarding school to explain away sightings of a phantom boy. What she discovers will prompt her to reconsider her deductive tactics — and send her mind spiraling back to a distant, forgotten past.
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An old fashioned English ghost story that deserved a little more acclaim and a lot more viewers then it received on release. Rebecca Hall is marvelous here capturing a tortured soul debunking the one thing she wishes was true. The script is dynamite in the early going giving in to some conveniences later on but lingers on in the memory after watching despite them. Supporting turns are strong as well.
A ghostly period drama with fantastic production quality and skillful cinematography. Unfortunately, some foreseeable twists leave the ending feeling a little rushed, but ultimately it had a wonderful atmosphere and great performances to boot.
A film that has real moments of beauty when dealing with grief, regret, and the tricks played by memory. However, it's fatally undermined when it goes for jump-out-of-the-seat frights and achingly clever twists, because these largely unnecesary gimmics suggest that the writers didn't really have faith in the less sensationaist elements.
The story works as long as it keeps its feet on solid ground, where it can properly come to terms with its concerns of loss and grievance. It's when the film forgets its human side, and shows instead a sterile, completely unorganic denouement where it starts to falter, and my complaint is that it depends too heavily on a rarified construction when the right choice was far simpler.
this was my late night netflix watch and i didn't know anything about it going in. i don't regret that at all because turns out, i was pleasantly surprised. although most people who've done a review have said the ending was quite laughable, i enjoyed it a lot. it was ambiguous. you get to decide how to perceive the ending and it was done very tastefully. it got a bit cliche with the family nonsense but it worked.
The essence of "handsomely mounted"...as well as the botched third act. Conjures eerie, damp-soaked atmosphere with great characters, strong acting, and an unshakable sense of place and time. Then comes the dumb twist. Unnecessary, though not without its visual pleasures. The final scene tries to reclaim some shred of ambiguity and it's down to Hall's performance that it has any chance of succeeding.