Opening credits, accompanied with sorrowful tune, promise something disturbing. Each shot is nice to look at, but as the story unwraps, it starts to feel dated and effective only for its time. Revelations and themes that are explored seem trivial and unworthy of so many analysis that followed after film's release. Child actors, especially Pamela Franklin, become so obnoxious that is challenging to sit through.
Tasteful and compelling it weaves moments of fear into a tapestry of images that haunt the mind. I appreciate the way the viewer is sucked into the mind of the heroin. We begin to lose our own sanity along with her. A powerful little film that though the motif of the evil child has been overused to excess still works in this restrained atmospheric horror film.
A superbly controlled exercise in nuance, suggestion and insinuation. Less is most definitely more as the true horrors bubble underneath the gorgeous surface detail in a dreadful stew of repression and corruption, occasionally slicing through: witness the too-lingering kiss (with added shock in these heightened times). The high contrast photography makes better use of the scope format than many a bloated epic.
Incontestablement, un éclatant et précieux joyau du cinéma fantastique, une perle rare, une réussite parfaite dans le genre, traversé par l'impressionnante interprétation des principaux acteurs, rehaussé par le sublime noir et blanc du chef-opérateur Freddie Francis et cautionné par l'excellente nouvelle d'Henry James adaptée plus d'une vingtaine de fois au cinéma ou à la télévision... www.cinefiches.com
Simple horror is always the most effective and memorable. No jump scares. Not blood and dismemberment. Just total control of light, sound, and camera movement. The kids are absolutely terrifying. I was left speechless and unsettled almost every 10 minutes and I enjoyed it each time. It goes down under "masterpiece" in my mental library. Horror went downhill after this. The pinnacle.
The road to hell is paved with good intentions, and in Clayton's masterful The Innocents, nobody could have played a better Beelzebub than Deborah Kerr. The astonishing camerawork not only brings to life the brooding nature of the tale, but also casts a light on the various shades of innocence (and lack there of).
Simply the greatest ghost story ever filmed!I cannot fault it.Even now,I'm shivering just thinking about the ghostly figure in the reeds,by the lake.Superb direction,cinematography,script and acting.Whether you watch it as a straight ghost story,or an account of a disturbed,religious,sexually repressed Victorian governess.Just see it and be chilled to the bone and remember,nobody can hear you scream,inside your mind.
"The Innocents" captures the gentle, pervasive dread of being truly alone like few films can -- Giddens (played with quiet intensity by Deborah Kerr) faces not only physical isolation at Bly; she is alone with her beliefs, her suspicions, and her sanity (or insanity). No jump scares here. Just the occasional distant, stoic figure on the estate's bleak horizon, and empty smiles and courtesies from two 'innocent' kids.