The Horror Asylum

Sign Up   Forgot Password? 
11,660 horror articles & features | 6,975 horror movies | 1,565 horror reviews | 1,333 giveaways hosted | 226 delicious interviews Established in 2001  
The Horror Asylum
  Horror News   Reviews   Giveaways   Interviews
Movies | TV | DVDs | Books | Games Movies | DVD | Books | Games Just Added | Ending Soon Just Added | Archives
Home About Enquiries Submissions Advertising Premium Feeds Cookies


The 12th Annual Salt City Horror Fest Returns to New York this April Death By Sport: Surprise Sporting Goods That Kill Craig Rees and Keeley Hazell Haunted in 'Whispers' - OUT 21 March The Devil is Real as New 'Holy Terror' Trailer Makes its Debut
Horror-on-Sea 2017: Seaside Horror Warms up Winter Twisted Love Triangle Campaign 'Nicole, her Ex & the Killer' Kicks Off Frozen Fear: Horror With a Little Extra Chill How Horror Games Give Us The Fright We're Looking For

WIN Fright Night on Blu-ray
WIN Fright Night on Blu-ray

The Innocents
Buy from Buy from

The Innocents (1961)

movie | Movie Details
Images, Posters, News
| Comments
Have your say

Plot Summary:
"In late 19th century England, an inexperienced young woman (Kerr) becomes governess to a small orphan girl living in a lonely stately home occupied only by the child, a housekeeper and a small complement of servants. Her initial misgivings allayed by the child's angelic nature, her anxieties are once more aroused when the girl's brother, equally captivating, is sent home from boarding school for wickedness of some unspecified kind. Then eerie apparitions and inexplicable behaviour on the children's part cause her to wonder about the house's history, especially about the fate of the previous governess and the former valet, Peter Quint, and to fear for the children's souls and for her own sanity. Eventually convinced that there is an unnatural force at work, perverting the innocence of her charges, she sets out to secure the children's salvation by wresting them from its power. Though her struggle reaches a resolution, its real nature and its outcome ultimately remain ambiguous."

Review by
Ryan McDonald
Follow me:
Review Date: 17 May 2004 My Rating: out of 5


What scares you? Oh, come on, we all have our fears, right? (Don't lie!) Well, OK, so I have more fears than most. I hate thunderstorms, loud sudden noises in general (whether it be those exceedingly loud trailers for digital sound systems, or people coming into your room all of a sudden and talking to you without first politely knocking), and I have a deep, deep fear of things such as death, people wearing weird masks, and yes, children. By and large, I hate the little buggers, they creep me out and I could trust the majority of them about as far as I could throw them. Guess who's going to be an uncle soon?

Anyhow, onto this 60s adaptation of 'Turn of the Screw', which may be one of the most atmospheric horror films of the period, and indeed features some truly revolting little children. Set in the mid 19th Century, Deborah Kerr stars as a Governess is put in charge of delinquents Martin Stephens (an extraordinary young actor who was interestingly enough, one of the evil little tykes in 'Village of the Damned') and Pamela Franklin, with their estranged bachelor uncle Michael Redgrave apparently having no time for children. She is asked by Redgrave never to bother him again nor ask about the children's parents. Just as things appear to be settling down at the family's rich estate, they get very, very weird, as Kerr begins to see things, spectres that may or may not be the result of an overactive imagination. Adding to the conspiratorial feeling is the presence of Megs Jenkins as the family housekeeper, who seems outwardly pleasant, but you never quite feel that you can fully trust her. But can you trust anyone here? Certainly not the children it seems, they appear to delight in messing with Kerr's head. But all is not as it seems.

The film becomes almost unbearably tense the longer it goes on, and you are constantly changing your mind as to what is going on and who can be trusted. In that way, it's a bit reminiscent of Polanski's masterpiece 'Repulsion' (there's quite a bit of sexual repression in both, with one or two rather 'odd' moments involving Kerr and Stephens which won't trouble you too much afterwards but might surprise you a bit) but a better companion piece would be the Hammer film 'The Nanny' where Bette Davis played a sweet-natured nanny to two thoroughly revolting children who may be driving her mad. It's not as grand a film, though, this one is far better-looking (that is, if you like British horror from the 50s and 60s as I do), far more atmospheric, and one of the more interesting films in Deborah Kerr's excellent career.

Clearly inspiring the creepy but slightly overrated 'The Others' (I won't call it a rip-off, it was better than such a thing), this film gets a major boost from the superlative black and white cinematography by veteran Hammer director and sometimes cameraman Freddie Francis. He wonderfully captures the stunningly beautiful countryside scenery, but is even more effective in the more tense sequences. Most brilliantly, the film manages to suggest a lot whilst showing very little. This is not a special FX extravaganza, but the dream/nightmare sequences are extremely effective, and making sure that we don't see much means that we're still guessing as to what the hell is going on.

An absolute must for fans of understated horror and ghost stories, but slasher and gore fans might not even consider it horror at all. Tense from start to finish, and stunning to look at. If you enjoyed 'The Others', you'll hopefully enjoy this even more.

Blood and Guts: Comments


Not Registered?
Sign up for FREE >>

There are currently no comments.
Why not have your say!?

Watch and Stream Horror Movies Online
using the Vidmate App


Whispers Movie Review


Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy's Revenge, A Movie Review

Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy's Revenge, A

Suspiria Movie Review


The Others Movie Review

The Others

Pod Movie Review


Ouija: Origin of Evil Movie Review

Ouija: Origin of Evil

Inn of the Damned Movie Review

Inn of the Damned

Disaster L.A. Movie Review

Disaster L.A.

Horrors of the Black Museum Movie Review

Horrors of the Black Museum

Visions Movie Review


Dont Breathe Movie Review

Dont Breathe

Holidays Movie Review


Demonic Movie Review


Blair Witch Movie Review

Blair Witch

Darling Movie Review



WIN Fright Night on Blu-ray
Now you can Watch your favorite Horror Movies using the Official ShowBox App


An Interview with Jason Blum
Jason Blum