Sunday, January 13, 2013

Turn of the Screw

"Turn of the Screw" (1992) starring Patsy Kensit, St├ęphane Audran, Marianne Faithfull and Julian Sands is another version of the classic ghost story by Henry James. 

Jenny (Kensit) applies to Mr. Cooper (Sands), absent guardian to two small children (Miles & Flora), to be their governess at his country house.  He wants her to be in charge and make all the decisions about the children.  She will be joining the housekeeper Mrs. Grose (Audran) at the remote country estate.

Shortly after arriving to the grand old house, Jenny receives a letter that Miles has been expelled from the boarding school and will be returning home.  Once they have established a routine, things start to fall apart for Jenny.  She starts seeing a man on the estate and in the house that she believes is Quint, a sinister former employee that used to hold sway over the household because he was the former governess' lover.  Both Quint and Miss Jessel are dead but Jenny can't get the details from Mrs. Grose.  Jenny also starts to see the ghost of Miss Jessel. With the children growing more erratic and more frequent visions of the ghosts, Jenny starts to lose her mind. 

This is actually a well done version of the classic story.  The story's narrative (Faithfull) is framed by someone in a group session telling the story of this as she recalls from a diary she found.  The setting of the house is wonderfully remote, beautiful and eerie. 

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