This was a film I watched a few weeks ago, very enjoyable and fictional. But with potentially very strong spiritualist undertones. If you want to see this movie I will give you the conclusions before the plot. There is one twist that reveals all and changes whatever perceptions you have of the movie.
The trailers suggest a horror movie. And this is not that type of movie at all. Yes, in some places it is more that a little horrific. But not as in horror!
There is a love element which is very strong. A mystery, several mysteries. Lots of very well-presented historical scenes. Very creepy old house to boot. The film is in one sense very stylistic. The scenery, the creepy old house, the dress sense of the family.
Okay the plot then which you need in detail to understand the impact of the twist.
Stop reading if you want to see the film and not be surprised. Set in the 1960’s a British family arrive in the countryside close to an American small town. Mother, son of 20, elder son, teenage daughter and youngest son. They are hiding, and we do not really get to know from what at first, but for their lives. The only person that knows is the local male lawyer who bought the house they are living in for them.
The Mother dies. The elder son is not old enough to take control and look after the family till he is 21 so they pretend that Mummy is still alive. The son develops a romantic association with the local librarian who is also being chased by the Lawyer.
There are a lot of scary bits in the plot. A mystery about a broken window and a mirror. We slowly get hints. Father is a criminal lunatic and rapist. Eldest son appeared as a witness and they are hiding from him. He was to be hung but escaped. They have money that seems to have some from some trouble.
We eventually discover that Dad had turned up in the past and the children killed him in self defence and it looks as though they are being haunted by his terrible ghost. Further clues later and we discover that Daddy is still alive but bricked up in the attic by his kind children.
We have what appears to be the ending climax as Love interest, Lawyer and children have various chases and battles with now escaped and animalistic Daddy who has been living off dead rats for umpteen months. Finally, the elder son kills Dad, after the lawyer has been murdered. And unfortunately, we do not all live happily after. As it turns out that the characters of the three younger children are either ghosts seen by the elder son, or they are his split identities having been killed by the father and personalities assumed by the elder son.
He ends up living with the Librarian as his wife in the same house. She allows him to live off his medicine and you get the impression that she now sees the other children as well, but this is only hinted at.
It is all handled extremely well. Yes, there are clues there, but at no stage till the final twist is revealed do you know what is going on. And the twist could be either spiritual or medical. Yes, we have a scene with the Doctor treating the elder son discussing things with the wife, but there are enough hints there with the Librarian love interest that it could be spiritual. It is simply left open to personal choice of the viewer.
The way it is handled is either romantically tragic, or very positive re spiritualist beliefs and practical applications.
I have in the past on several occasions been in the presence of a Medium in Edinburgh who would do what is called Trance Mediumship. The Medium would allow the energy of the Spirit to take over and talk physically. Under her guidance I experienced this myself once and it is real.
However not as literal as shown in the film. Remember this is a movie and allow some dramatic licence. Or treat as a medical condition. The film works either way and I thoroughly enjoyed the movie. It is still showing in the cinemas now, though I suspect at the end of the run and on a countdown to DVD release.