The Little Stranger (2018)

Lenny Abrahamson directs Domnhall Gleeson, Ruth Wilson and Charlotte Rampling in this post-war period drama where a small town doctor ingratiates himself into the crumbling mansion of an unfortunate land owning family.

I get the feeling that The Little Stranger might be an experience that improves on second viewing. Not because there is any great twist that turns what you have watched on its head. More as for a long old time you are uncertain what you are watching… Is it a romance? A ghost story? A class satire? An out-of-time yuppie in peril thriller? A coded exploration of toxic masculinity? A paean to a dying way of life? It works as all but doesn’t truly settle as any. If you are a fan of Daphne du Maurier then I think you’ll find plenty to savour. It is often a coldly beautiful, quietly daring film. Yet you’ll struggle to garner an emotional connection with the characters or a baring to the mysterious narrative where you can comfortably enjoy what unfolds. Writing these reservations about the film actually makes me appreciate it a little more. I might return to this or read the Sarah Waters novel it is based on. The score below could rise.


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