The Turn of the Screw is a horror novella written by Henry James way back when in 1898 (a very good year for spooks). Today, a trailer for a film based on James’ work has been released, and fans can look forward to some good, old fashioned, spider-based scares.
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On top of this, The Turning, as the movie is short-handedly titled, boasts an excellent cast. Mackenzie Davis, best known for her lead role in Black Mirror‘s “San Junipero,” plays a nanny looking after two young children who find themselves living in their uncle’s country home after the death of their parents.
The pair are played by Finn Wolfhard of Stranger Things, and Brooklynn Prince of The Florida Project. Up until the nanny’s arrival, the children were being cared for by the home’s elderly housekeeper, as their uncle had “no interest” in raising them—possibly because they’re creepy as all heck.
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“It’s a very dark story that’s endured for over a hundred years. We’ve taken this story, and modernized it, and placed it in the 1990’s. It follows a nanny who is looking [for] a life change, and when she arrives at the house she meets two orphans, Flora and Miles. They start to act a little strange ad she senses that they’re harboring a secret, that they’re hiding something from her. She quickly realizes that there’s something wrong in the house.”
Though The Turning is a more modern adaption of James’ original work, it still has many classic elements of horror. There’s the rickety old mansion full of ghostly apparitions, a tiny child with a thousand-yard stare, and spiders. The worst kind of spiders, actually. The kind that goes in your mouth.
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This isn’t the first time that The Turning of the Screw has been adapted for the big screen. James Clayton’s 1961 horror classic The Innocents is a notable example, one that Sigismondi says influenced her work greatly.
“I studied what worked in that film, and the atmosphere it created, and how the house became a character, and what we saw and didn’t see. I also loved how that film made it about the nanny and not just about the things that were happening in the house. So, I really drew upon those things, and modernized it, and made it my own.”
The Turning will be out in theaters on January 24th, 2020. It seems set to a be a spooky treat full of twists and, I’m sorry, turns.