Film Review: ‘The Turning’

  • Variety
Film Review: ‘The Turning’
Director Floria Sigismondi’s “The Turning” is like the alt-rock cousin of author Henry James’ novella “The Turn of the Screw.” From its grunge-infused soundtrack and period setting to its fiery feminist overtones, this is an ambitious contemporary take on the iconic, claustrophobic thriller. Concerning two young orphans who psychologically torment their caretaker in a spooky, sprawling mansion, it comes across as a fuzzy, frayed adaptation courtesy of a gimmicky, ambiguous climax that undermines the journey. Lacking spine-tingling dread, taut tension, and the deservingly provocative ending needed to make its modern sentiments land, this re-imagining is less than a classic.

Bubbly teacher Kate (Mackenzie Davis) has taken a position at Bly Manor as governess for 7-year-old Flora (Brooklynn Prince), who’s suffering from trauma associated with the death of her parents outside the gates of the palatial estate. The family’s former live-in nanny, Miss Jessel (Denna Thomsen), abruptly left
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