#123movies #fmovies #putlocker #gomovies #solarmovie #soap2day Watch Full Movie Online Free – In post-WWII Britain, a doctor revisits a crumbling great house called Hundreds Halls where his mother once worked as a nurse maid. The owners are losing the house because they can’t afford the taxes, even though they say the home is haunted by the malevolent ghost of their mother’s first born daughter. The doctor becomes obsessed with marrying one of the owner’s daughters, and bad things happen.
Plot: In a dusty post-war summer in rural Warwickshire, a doctor is called to a patient at lonely Hundreds Hall. Home to the Ayres family for over two centuries, the Georgian house is now in decline. But are the Ayreses haunted by something more sinister than a dying way of life?
Smart Tags: #year_1947 #year_1919 #doctor #dog #voice_over_narration #flashback #injury #maid #little_girl #blood #money_problems #fire #mother_slaps_son #ghost #suicide #death #funeral #cemetery #falling_from_height #country_house #country_estate
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_**An “atmospheric character drama” without any atmosphere, and precious little drama**_
> _The subliminal mind has many dark, unhappy corners, after all. Imagine something loosening itself from one of those corners. Let’s call it a – a germ. And let’s say conditions prove right for that germ to develop – to grow, like a child in the womb. What would this little stranger grow into? A sort of shadow-self, perhaps: a Caliban, a Mr Hyde. A creature motivated by all the nasty impulses and hungers the conscious mind had hoped to keep hidden away: things like envy and malice and frustration._
– Sarah Waters; _The Little Stranger_ (2009)
I remember when I first saw Paul Thomas Anderson’s _Inherent Vice_ (which I loved) in 2014, a colleague of mine (who hated it) was unable to grasp why I had enjoyed it so much. I tried to explain that if he had read Thomas Pynchon’s 2009 novel, he’d have appreciated the film a lot more, to which he posited, “_one shouldn’t have to read the book in order to appreciate the film._” I think I mumbled something about him being a philistine, and may have thrown some rocks at him at that point. So imagine my chagrin when I watched the decidedly underwhelming _The Little Stranger_, a huge box office bomb ($417,000 gross in its opening weekend in the US), and easily the weakest film in director Lenny Abrahamson’s thus far impressive _oeuvre_. You see, I really disliked it, but the few people I know who have read Sarah Waters’s 2009 novel (which I have not), have universally loved it, telling me I would have liked it a lot more if I was familiar with the source material. To them, I can say only this – “_one shouldn’t have to read the book in order to appreciate the film._” It seems my colleague was right after all. I hate that.
The film is set in Warwickshire, a West Midlands county in England, in 1948, where Dr. Faraday (Domhnall Gleeson) is a country physician whose life is going nowhere fast. Born into humble beginnings, ever since he was a child, he has wanted to be a member of the gentry. In 1919, he attended a fête at the opulent Hundreds Hall estate, owned by the aristocratic Ayers family, where his mother worked as a maid, and ever since he has been quietly obsessed with the house. However, by 1948, Hundreds has lost its lustre, is in a state of disrepair, and is now home to only four people – Angela Ayers (Charlotte Rampling), matriarch of the Ayers dynasty, and who never recovered from the death of her eight-year-old daughter, Susan, many years previously; Caroline (Ruth Wilson), her daughter; Roderick (Will Poulter), Angela’s son, a badly-burned former RAF pilot suffering from PTSD; and Betty (Liv Hill), the maid. When Betty takes ill, Faraday is summoned, almost immediately learning that the family is in a dire state, with Angela unable to balance their diminished financial situation with the social responsibility of maintaining the estate. Betty also intimates to Faraday that “something” is not right in the house. Offering to treat Roderick’s painful burns, Faraday soon ingratiates himself into the family, and becomes a semi-permanent presence in Hundreds. However, that’s when things start to go wrong; a child is mauled by a previously passive dog, a mysterious fire guts the library, and noises can be heard throughout the house. As Caroline determines to leave, Faraday attempts to convince everyone there is nothing supernatural happening. Nevertheless, Angela is certain the spirit of Susan is with them; Caroline believes it all has something to do with Roderick’s deep unhappiness; Roderick asserts it is something that wants to drive him mad and deprive him of his birthright; and Betty believes it is the malevolent spirit of a former domestic servant. Meanwhile, Faraday and Caroline become romantically involved.
As mentioned above, I haven’t read the novel, so most of the proceeding comments are in relation to the film only. Aspiring to blend elements of “big house”-based mystery narratives such as Charlotte Brönte’s _Jane Eyre_ (1847), Charles Dickens’s _Great Expectations_ (1861), and Daphne du Maurier’s _Rebecca_ (1938), with more gothic-infused ghost stories such as Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Fall of the House of Usher” (1839), Henry James’s _The Turn of the Screw_ (1898), and Shirley Jackson’s _The Haunting of Hill House_ (1959), _The Little Stranger_ is not especially interested in the supernatural aspects of the story _per se_. In this sense, Abrahamson and screenwriter Lucinda Coxon have, to a certain extent, created an anti-ghost story which eschews virtually every trope of the genre. More a chamber drama than anything else, the film has been done absolutely no favours whatsoever by its trailer, which emphasises the haunted house elements and encroaching psychological dread (the fact that the film was pushed back from intended release dates several times suggest the studio themselves didn’t know quite what they had on their hands). Indeed, to even mention the supernatural elements at all is essentially to give away the last 20 minutes of the film, as this is where 90% of them are contained.
Waters herself has stated she does not consider the novel a ghost story. Instead, she was primarily interested in the rise of socialism in England, the landslide Labour victory in the 1945 general election, and how the now fading nobility was dealing with the decline in their power, influence, and financial opulence;
> _I didn’t set out to write a haunted house novel. I wanted to write about what happened to class in that post-war setting. It was a time of turmoil in exciting ways. Working class people had come out of the war with higher expectations. They had voted in the Labour government. They wanted change. So it was a culture in a state of change. But obviously, for some people, it was a change for the worse._
With this in mind, the main theme of the film is Faraday’s attempts to ingratiate himself with the Ayers family, to transform himself into a fully-fledged blue blood, even when doing so goes against his medical training; his commitment to his own upward mobility is far stronger than his commitment to the Hippocratic Oath. He is immediately dismissive of the possibility of any supernatural agency in the house, and, far more morally repugnant, he does everything he can to convince those who believe the house is haunted that they are losing their minds, that the stress of what has happened to the family has pushed them to the point of a nervous breakdown. He’s also something of a passive-aggressive misogynist, telling Caroline, “_you have it your way – for now_”, and “_Darling, you’re confused_”. For all intents and purposes, Faraday is the villain of the piece, which is, in and of itself, an interesting spin on a well-trodden narrative path.
However, for me, virtually nothing about the film worked. Yes, it has been horribly advertised, and yes, it is more interested in playing with our notions of what a ghost story can be, subverting and outright rebelling against the tropes of the genre. I understand what Abrahamson was trying to do (after all, my all-time favourite horror movie, Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sánchez’s _The Blair Witch Project_ (1999) is all about psychologically disturbing the audience, with not a jump scare in sight), however, so too does _The Little Stranger_ shun the standard alternative to jump scares – creeping existential dread – and as a result, it remains all very subtle, and all very, very boring – the non-supernatural parts of the story give us nothing we haven’t seen before, and the supernatural parts simply fall flat (the “twist” at the end is also incredibly predictable).
One of the main issues for me is Faraday’s emotional detachment. I get that he’s the ostensible villain, so we’re not meant to empathise with him, and, as an unreliable narrator, his very role is to objectively undermine the subjective realism of the piece, and disrupt the smooth path of the narrative transmission (the same role performed by the Second Mrs. de Winter in _Rebecca_). However, Gleeson/Faraday practically sleepwalks his way through the entire film, getting excited or upset about (almost) nothing; on a stroll through the estate with Caroline, she apologises for dragging him out into the cold, and he replies, “_Not at all. I’m enjoying myself very much_”, in the most dead-tone unenthusiastic voice you could possibly imagine, sounding more like he is having his testicles sandpapered (this part also elicited the film’s only laugh at the screening I attended). So I know detachment is precisely the point, but, firstly, we’ve seen Gleeson play this exact same character before – all brittle, buttoned-down intellectualism – and secondly, he comes across as more robotic than detached, and after twenty minutes, I was thoroughly bored of him, and just stopped caring. Indeed, all of the characters are somewhat buttoned down, but Rampling, Wilson, and Poulter all give more nuanced performances than Gleeson.
Partly because of this, and partly because of Coxon’s repetitive script, the film is just insanely and unrelentingly dull. Now, I don’t mind films in which nothing dramatic happens (Chloé Zhao’s _The Rider_ (2017), which barely has a plot, is one of my films of the year), but in _The Little Stranger_ nothing whatsoever happens at all, dramatic or otherwise. By way of comparison, check out Oz Perkin’s _I Am the Pretty Thing that Lives in the House_ (2016), a similarly themed film which shuns jump scares but whose encroaching sense of dread creates a potently eldritch tone, something sorely lacking in _The Little Stranger_. Instead, the script just goes round and round, through the motions; “_this house is haunted_” – “_no, you’re just tired_” – “_you’re probably right_” – “_I am, have a lie down_” – “_okay. Wait, this house is haunted_” – “_no, you’re just tired_”, etc.; wash, rinse, repeat. The pacing is absolutely torturous, and I certainly envy anyone who was able to get more out of the narrative than the opportunity to take a nap.
One thing I will praise unreservedly is the sound design. Foregrounded multiple times, this aspect of the film often becomes more important than the visuals. For example, sound edits often bridge picture edits in both directions (L Cuts and J Cuts). Similarly, we repeatedly experience the sound of one scene carrying over into the image of another well beyond the edit itself, so much so that it becomes a motif, suggesting a distortion of reality. Just prior to the dog attack, the sound becomes echo-like and the picture starts to move in and out of focus, as the camera shows Faraday in a BCU, suggesting he is becoming unglued from his environment. This also happens later on with Roderick, just prior to the fire. Perhaps the most interesting scene from an aural perspective is the scene in the nursery near the end of the film. As Angela examines the room, the distorted and difficult to identify sound becomes unrelenting (it is easily the loudest scene in the film). However, as the other characters run through the house towards the noise, all sound is pulled out almost entirely, with only the barest hint of footfalls detectable. This is extremely jarring and extremely effective, working to emphasise the dread all of the characters are by now feeling.
However, beyond that, this just did nothing for me; there was nothing I could get my teeth into, I didn’t care about any of the characters beyond the first half hour, the social commentary was insipid and said nothing of interest, the supernatural aspects are so underplayed as to be virtually invisible, and, most unforgivably, the film is terminally boring. Maybe if I’d read the book…
You serious _The Little Stranger_? That’s what you’re giving me?
_Final rating:★½: – Boring/disappointing. Avoid where possible._
a bad feeling gone wrong
Greetings again from the darkness. Director Lenny Abrahamson’s follow up to his stellar film ROOM (Oscar nominated for Best Picture and Best Director) is based on Sarah Waters graphic novel, and adapted for the screen by Lucinda Coxon (THE DANISH GIRL). Very early on, the film succeeds in giving viewers that “I have a bad feeling” sensation … usually a very good sign for films in this genre.
The always excellent Domhnall Gleeson stars as Faraday, the local town doctor called out to check on the lone remaining housekeeper at Hundreds Hall. For a couple hundred years, it’s been the Ayres family home, and though, in its past, a glorious fixture among Britain’s elite, the home, grounds and family themselves are all now little more than a distant memory of their once great selves. When he was a mere lad, Faraday’s mum had served on staff, and his memories of the grand palace are jolted by the sight of its current dilapidated state.
The Ayres family now consists of Charlotte Rampling as the matriarch who has yet to move past the death of her beloved daughter Susan so many years ago; Will Poulter as Roderick, the son who was disfigured and maimed during the war; and Ruth Wilson as surviving daughter Caroline, who seems to have surrendered any semblance of life in order to care for her mother, brother, and home … each in various stages of ill-repair.
This is a strange family who mostly keep to themselves, well, except for Faraday who seems drawn to the family … or is it the house? Even his romantic interest in Caroline could be seen as an excuse to regularly return to the house. His flashbacks to childhood and a festival held on the estate grounds provide glimpses of his connection, but with Gleeson’s mostly reserved façade, we never really know what’s going on in his head.
Part haunted house, part ghost story, and part psychological thriller; however, it’s really not fully any of these. There seems to be a missing link – something for us to grab hold of as viewers. The film is wonderfully cloaked in dread and looks fabulous – replete with ominous music and a creepy old mansion. Unfortunately those things are accompanied by the slowest build up in cinematic history. “A snail’s pace” is too kind as a description. The film is very well acted, but horror films and thrillers need more than atmosphere, otherwise frustration sets in with the viewer. There is little doubt this played much better on the pages of Ms. Waters’ book.
From a certain angle.
This is not a “slow burn”. It is a crafted piece of film put together to tell a story of a man who yearns to live in a part of society he can never truly be a part of. If you watch this film with that thought in mind, you’ll understand it better.
Dr. Faraday we learn early on, is a small town doctor who prides himself as being a respectable, proper gentleman. He does all the little things required to be a part of upper society but can never really be upper class as he is the son of a lower class family whose mother was a maid.
The defining moment of his childhood (shown in the film) was a visit to Hundreds Hall for a party thrown by the well-to-do Ayres family for their young daughter Susan (Suki). he notices the opulence, the pomp and circumstance of it all. The event is from a different world than the one little Faraday lives in. He knows he doesn’t belong but he yearns to be a part of this group of people. A photograph, where Suki jumps in front of Faraday is a small example of this exclusion.
Through a coincidence, he is able to get into the house that was restricted to outside guests, and delves further into the life he cannot possibly attain. In the kitchen he literally gets a taste of the sweet life when he licks cake batter off a spoon as his mother talks with some of the maids.
While she is distracted, he wanders off through the house, admiring the size and luxuriousness of the interior halls. He arrives at the grand staircase and he thinks deeply about wanting nothing more than to be a part of this family; living in this house. He wants it so bad that he breaks off a stone acorn from the wall. All the while, Suki is watching, smiling at this foolish little pleb of a boy.
His mother find him and confronts him on his disappearance. He reveals the acorn and she slaps him across the face for his doltishness. He should not even have dared to dream of being a part of this world.
As we move into the present day with Faraday now Dr. Faraday, he has grown up but he is, in a lot of ways, still that little boy. That little stranger who does not belong in that house with that family. Understanding this will help to understand the movie. It is not a supernatural horror film. It is a film about a man trying desperately to be part of something he cannot ever really be a part of. As hard as he might to be a refined British gentleman with glowing credentials, he is still the lower class country boy.
When Faraday meets the Ayres family, they, like the house they live in, are all in various states of disrepair and neglect.The mother has never gotten over the death of her first child Suki. The son, and heir to the estate, has been physically damaged in the war. The daughter, frumpy and tired, has let herself go, resigned to the fact that her mother loves her dead sister more.
Upon meeting and then visiting the family often, Dr. Faraday builds a rapport that he hopes will bring him closer to that childhood desire of being a part of this class. However, even as they are all shadows of their former selves and he is a rising star amongst his middle class peers, Dr. Faraday never attains their upper class status.
As each family member side-tracks him from that ambition, he coldly takes steps to eliminate them. We never see on screen the wicked deeds he executes but he methodically gets rid of anyone in his way of winning the prize he so desires. He banishes the son to an asylum, he fakes the mother’s death as a suicide, he murders the daughter who turned down his marriage proposal.
In the end, with the Ayres family gone, the house is left desolate and barren. There is no furniture and the rooms are littered with dead leaves, blown in from the outside through broken windows. Dr. Faraday holds the keys to the house suggesting he its the owner. It it literally a hollow shell of its former glory, but to Dr. Faraday, the house is a prize worth having no matter the derelict conditions.
The last shot of the film is a teary eyed little Faraday, standing at the top of the grand staircase looking down as if to suggest he never stopped being that sad, little boy who just wanted so desperately to be a part of something.
Original Language en
Runtime 1 hr 51 min (111 min)
Genre Drama, Horror, Mystery
Director Lenny Abrahamson
Writer Lucinda Coxon (screenplay), Sarah Waters (based on: “The Little Stranger” by)
Actors Domhnall Gleeson, Will Poulter, Ruth Wilson, Liv Hill
Country UK, Ireland, France
Awards 5 nominations.
Production Company Potboiler Productions, Irish Film Board, Element Pictures
Sound Mix Dolby Digital
Aspect Ratio 1.85 : 1
Camera Arri Alexa XT, Panavision Primo Lenses
Film Length N/A
Negative Format N/A
Cinematographic Process N/A
Printed Film Format N/A