The Innocents: The Guessing Game

        Director Jack Clayton made the movie The Innocents in 1961, based in part on William Archibald’s 1950 play. I think he portrayed the attitude of the writer. I think that William Archibald conveyed the same attitude that Henry James did in his 1898 novella, The Turn of the Screw, and that was sinister.

        The movie was scary without showing anything overtly scary. It conveyed the sinister horror of the book without the high-tech use of today’s techniques. The script in my opinion was totally believable. I could see this happening in real life. Is it probably that this story could be a true one? I think absolutely. Are the ghosts real? I do not think anyone can definitely say either way. Can every noise and bump in the dark be explained? No, I do not think so.

        The sets in this movie were average, but effective. They were stark so that they did not take away from the characters and story line, especially Miss Giddens in her attempts to deal with what she thinks are the ghosts. I think the director used extreme close ups of the lead actress, Deborah Kerr, to show her fear. He showed extreme close ups each time she got more and more frightened, especially when she believes she sees the ghosts. The music, by Georges Auric, in this movie added to the overall apprehension of the characters. It matched the overall theme of the move. I think it is an integral part of the movie. I do not think this or any other scary movie would be so effective if it had no music.

        By the end of the movie, play and book, I was definitely confused about whether the ghosts were in fact ghosts or a figment of her imagination. I think that is why the movie, play, and book were effective. The subtle hints of ghosts then the ideas that it was all in the main characters head kept me guessing till the very end.

Samantha Andersson

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