Haunted (1995)

January 10th, 2024
Author: Meredith Taylor

Dir: Lewis Gilbert | Cast: Aiden Quinn, Kate Beckinsale, John Gielgud, Anna Massey  | UK Fantasy horror 95’

Based on a novel by James Holborn, like ‘Don’t Look Now’ this film starts with a prologue depicting a young girl drowning (a debt further acknowledged by a brief glimpse of Hilary Mason at her memorial service), but this time she’s in a long white dress rather than a red duffle coat.

In the more conventional hands of Lewis Gilbert the action then picks up in a twenties mansion in the style of Brideshead – complete with Anthony Andrews – and the plot proceeds to make it’s way with elements lifted from ‘The Halfway House’, ‘The Haunting’ and ‘The Shining’.

Aiden Quinn and a youthful Kate Beckinsale (who shows that she’s a modern girl by smoking, wearing jodhpurs & riding boots, driving like a maniac, swimming starkers, playing the piano in a kimono and enthusiastically making love) make an attractive pair of young leads, ably supported by Anna Massey as a disturbed old nanny, John Gielgud as the family doctor whose entrance is literally preceded by a cloud of smoke, and Liz Smith as a disconcertingly accurate fortune teller. @RichardChatten

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