Tag: henry james

‘The Turn of the Screw’ Movie Has a Creepy-Crawly Trailer

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.

 

Image via Amazon

 

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.

 

Image via MovieWeb

 

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, director Floria Sigismondi, known for directing The Runaways and The Handmaid’s Tale, had this to say:

“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.

 

Image via Youtube

 

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.

 

Featured image via JoBlo
Victoria Pedretti in 'The Haunting of Hill House'

‘The Haunting of Hill House’s Victoria Pedretti Returns for Another ‘Haunting’

Victoria Pedretti, who made her first major on-screen role in Netflix’s The Haunting of Hill House will return for a second season titled The Haunting of Bly Manor.

Netflix is continuing their anthology series, which kicked off with a bang with The Haunting of Hill House, which adapted Shirley Jackson’s novel of the same name. The second season, The Haunting of Bly Manor, will take on Henry James’ novel, The Turn of the Screw. The novel features the story of a governess, who is coming to care for two children, but it turns out that some supernatural forces have a hold over them.

 

'The Haunting of Hill House' Promo Image
Image Via shemazing

Pedretti, after starring as Nell Crain, has been quite busy with fabulous roles. She will be playing a role in Quentin Tarantino’s next film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and another Netflix series, You.

She is currently being represented by Gersh and Management 360.

featured image via collider
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3 Classic Authors with Spooky Ties to the Occult

In the wake of Darwinism, the world was left with one loaded question: what does this discovery say about God and the afterlife? This search for meaning helped to spawn the Victorian Era obsession with the supernatural, a movement that sought the answers to life’s big questions- by any means necessary. Seances, astral projection, and psychic readings caught the interest of the era’s intellectuals, including some of your favorite authors.

 

1. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

 

As it turns out, the author and creator of famous detective Sherlock Holmes was supernaturally gifted. Doyle was a devotee of the Spiritualist movement, a widespread pursuit of the mystical originating with three dubiously psychic sisters. In 1848, the Fox Sisters of Hydesville, NY used a pattern of taps to communicate with the spirits in their supposedly haunted house. In the United States, rampant industrialization (hello disease and poverty) led to a nationwide obsession with death. In a world where one-third of infants born in cities did not live over 1 year, the sisters thrived. Though they recanted their story in 1888, they later stated that they had been paid a bribe of $1,500 to… well, lie about lying. By that point, however, Spiritualism had its own supernatural power as a sweeping movement. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Spiritualist and mystery writer, was desperate to solve the greatest mystery of all: the secret of life beyond death.

 

Sherlock Holmes, creation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Image Via denofgeek.com

 

Conan Doyle’s fascination with the Fox Sisters led him to attempt a seance during his time as a physician. Known to fervently believe in telepathy, Conan Doyle publicized his beliefs during his notorious and brief friendship with magician Harry Houdini. Conan Doyle believed that Houdini had actual supernatural abilities, and, with his wife, convinced skeptic Houdini to participate in a seance. Conan Doyle’s wife claimed to receive a telepathic message from Houdini’s late mother; unfortunately, Houdini’s mother didn’t speak English. Yikes. Friendship over. Undeterred, Conan Doyle continued performing seances with his wife to contact his relatives who died in World War One. He would abandon his fiction writing at the height of his fame, focusing exclusively on his Spiritualist beliefs. After a lifelong obsession with ghosts, he eventually became one. Medium Estelle Roberts famously claimed to summon Doyle’s spirit in front of a large audience at his funeral in 1930.

 

2. Charles Dickens

 

Charles Dickens, literary genius behind A Tale of Two Cities and Great Expectations, was also all about that spooky lifestyle. Close friends would say he had a “hankering for ghosts,” an obsession that lasted throughout his life. This passion is evident in many of his works, perhaps most famously in A Christmas Carol. Though he later became more of a skeptic, he still sought out evidence of the supernatural. Dickens once explained he would never rule out any possibilities: “don’t suppose that I am so bold and arrogant as to settle what can and what cannot be, after death.” More interested in the scientific and psychological aspects of the supernatural, Dickens went on to become a proponent of Mesmerism.

 

 

Live action adaptation of 'A Christmas Carol'

Image Via electricliterature.com

 

The Mesmerist movement represented the crossover between proven science and faith in the unknown. A major part of Mesmerism was its focus on medical miracles and many (scientific?) attempts to cure disease with psychic energy. According to those who believed, a practitioner could put his patient into a trance and transfer his stronger energy into the weaker patient. This became (alarmingly!) a popular medical treatment in the 1830s and 1840s… not a time period known for its long lifespans. So much for your reason and skepticism, Dickens!

 

 

3. Henry James

 

Widely regarded as the bridge between American literary realism and modernism, The Turn of the Screw author Henry James had an occult connection through his brother. William James was a core member of the Society for Psychical Research, an organization of intelligentsia in pursuit of the secrets behind death. The Society sought to apply scientific principles to the unexplored territory of the supernatural. William himself was no crackpot, a Harvard man many call “the father of American psychology.” Although Henry James himself was not a member, the two brothers often stayed together, and Henry had frequent exposure to his brother’s ideas. One major area of William’s research was haunted houses, which he and the Society believed to be telepathic hotspots.

 

 

Haunted house graphic

Image Via yourtownmonthly.com

 

The Society for Psychical Research had a documented impact on the rising Gothic literary moment. Elements of Gothic literature include elements of horror, death, and gloom, along with the Romantic emphasis on intense emotions. William’s psychical investigations directly influenced Henry’s later ghost stories; it’s likely Henry also drew upon William’s paranormal research for his Gothic novel The Turn of the Screw.

 

As it turns out, anyone can believe in the supernatural, even the literary greats. So now the question is… do you?

 

 

Featured Image Via lovetoknow.com