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Old 08-30-2018, 04:08 PM
masterofmystery masterofmystery is offline
Default Review: "The Little Stranger" starring Harry Potter actor Domhnall Gleeson

If you walk into a screening of THE LITTLE STRANGER blind (meaning you don't know the plot), you'd have no idea this movie was meant to be a horror - a Gothic one at that. That's because director Lenny Abrahamson's movie shifts from genre to theme from scene to scene - is it just your typical dramatic period piece, is it a bit of a thriller (going by one scene where a little girl is mauled by a dog), a romance, or a horror?

Of course, the marking of a good movie is that it's able to balance many genres and stories at once, but not so much the case with THE LITTLE STRANGE. The movie jumps more from scene to scene, from genre to genre, without actual flow to it. It's not quite whiplash given the languid and almost dull pace at which its going, but after you're done mulling over one scene, you're pushed into what almost feels like a different narrative altogether.

The movie focuses on a young doctor (played by Harry Potter actor Domhnall Gleeson with a bit too much stiff-upper-lipness going on, to be told), who goes back to the large manor where he spent many of his childhood years as the son of a servant. Here, he's reunited with what's left of the Ayres family after tragedy struck them years ago. You slowly start realizing that he's the straight man trying to work his way around this haunted family, trying to break in and become a part of them as he dreamt of doing as a child.

About two-thirds in to the movie the actual supernatural and horror aspects really start kicking in, and intrigue for where the narrative goes kicks in. The ghost story around it isn't quite explained, but the tragedies that before as a result of the haunting is in your face. It's a bit hard to tell that this is the angle Abrahamson was going for with his movie, and by the time you get to - let's say, the juicy, horror-filled parts - you're just kind of hoping this movie is done and over with.

THE LITTLE STRANGER hits theatres in limited release in the U.S. starting August 31.
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