Supernatural Love

     Love after the grave has almost always been a major topic of curiosity for romantic-minded individuals everywhere, and entertainers have capitalized on every angle of interpretation of this. The most popular of which being two spirits connecting with each other after death. Two movies that draw a definite line in the sand on this point are Jack Clayton's 1961 The Innocents, based upon Henry James's 1898 The Turn of the Screw, and the more recent movie Ghost, directed in 1990 by Jerry Zuker.

     The Innocents takes a much darker side to this classic " love conquers all" story line with the two children, Flora (played by Pamela Franklin) and Miles (depicted by Martin Stephens), being possessed by the spirits of their former caretakers. They use the children to express their physical love for each other, and in the process psychologically disturb the children.

     This spiritual interdiction eventually leads to Miles' death and Flora's forced departure from the estate. Nothing about Flora's future is mentioned, but it can be assumed that she will later require some sort of psychological help. Miss Giddens (portrayed by Deborah Kerr) would probably also need some sort of psychological help, especially since towards the end of the story she herself starts to go slightly mad.

     Ghost takes a more pure look at this in that love actually does win out. Sam (played by Patrick Swayze) dies protecting his fiancée (acted by Demi Moore) from muggers. After this, Sam learns how to be a ghost and finds a fortuneteller (depicted by Whoopie Goldberg), who can see and hear the dead. After convincing her to help him talk to his fiancée, he finds one of his fellow employees in life trying to move in on her. This fellow employee had also smuggled a large sum of money, which Sam moves to a different account and donates to charity. When the smuggler finds out about this, he goes after Sam's fiancée. In the ensuing fight between Sam and the smuggler in a room under renovation, the smuggler is killed when a broken window slides down on its tracks and impales him in a window frame, after which he is dragged into hell, while Sam's fiancée gets one more look at him before he goes to heaven.

     The nearest comparison in the two films though may be the line drawn from Miss Giddens to the fortuneteller in Ghost. The two characters do not quite realize their connection to the story until strange things start happening. Initially they are terrified of it but they come to ease into it after a while.

     While the basic theme is the same, love conquers everything even death, both movies take the concept in a totally different direction. Ghost goes from the direction that, even though our loved ones are gone, they still have an impact upon what is going on in our lives. The Innocents takes the stand that our loved ones live on in us through our actions and speech. Both movies securely affirm that, once one truly falls into love with someone, nothing can stop it, not even death, which is something we all want to believe.

Bryan D. McGregor

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