There is something charming with horror films that takes place in the past, especially during World War I and World War II. Not because of what happened during those wars, but i am thinking more about the time period, the beautiful houses, the gardens and the hard working people, who helped families survive through hard times. Back in those days you had to work long hard hours, especially if you worked for wealthy families as maids, a butler or a chef. You would be lucky if you had any day off, because vacation was no guarantee. One of the horror films that i can always watch again, that takes place during World War II, is the 2001 film known as The Others, from director Alejandro Amenábar ( who directed the Spanish thriller film Tesis, well worth watching ). The Others tells the story of mother Grace Stewart ( who is played really good by actress Nicole Kidman ), who lives in a remote country house in Jersey, with her two young children, Anne and Nicolas, who have a rare disease characterized by photosensitivity. Grace hire three new servants-housekeeper Mrs. Bertha Mills ( Fionulla Flanagan ), gardener Edmund Tuttle ( Eric Sykes ) and a mute girl named Lydia ( Elaine Cassidy ). Grace is very worried about the kids being so sensitive to daylight, so she explain to the new servants how important it is not to let daylight in. Mrs. Bertha have worked in this house many years before, as she explains to Grace that many left the house due to the outbreak of tuberculosis. But this house is clearly holding on to a mystery, as Grace discover that they may not be alone, as if someone else lives here as well. The Others is one of those horror films that is still today one of the better supernatural horror films, if i had to pick one title in this genre. It is very well made horror film, and have some really beautiful cinematography by Javier Aguirresarobe ( who also did the cinematography for the 2009 post-apolocyptic film The Road ). The Others is a must watch if you love supernatural horror films. How many of you haved watched the British TV series Dowtown Abbey? Imagine that TV series turned into a horror film, and you might feel right at home with The Banishing. This film actually have one of the actors from Downtown Abbey in the lead role, known as Jessica Brown Findlay. A horror film that takes place during the late 1930´s, is this one of the best horror summer films to check out on VOD, or is The Banishing doomed to be forgotten?
In the year of 1938, Marianne ( Jessica Brown Findlay ) and her husband Linus ( John Heffernam ), a reverend, have moved into Morley Rectory with their daughter Adelaide ( Anya McKenna-Bruce ). Since the marriage between Marianne and Linus, have seen better days, they struggle to make it work. And it´s not getting easier, when there is an evil presence in this house, that´s connected to the past.
Considering that we don´t get to see many horror films these days, that takes place in the late 1930´s like The Banishing does, i do feel that it´s important that films such as this one is made. Not just because of the time period, but the characters in a film like this, really shows how life was during that time. And for a younger generation that does not know much about the history of the 1930´s, this is a great way to show through a horror film. Now, some of you might wonder, does The Banishing work as a horror film? I will have to say yes, and especially thanks to the ghostly parts of the film. This is definetely made from an old school horror perspective, especially where you can feel the evil presence in certain scenes. If you can accept that this is not a brutal horror film in any way, and focuses more on delivering creepy atmosphere, then this might be what you are looking for. Let´s get into some positive details about The Banishing. The costume design looks wonderful, and feels realistic to the time period. I also enjoy the characters, and you get the sense that they really tried to portrait people who lived during the late 1930´s . I especially appreciate the performance from wonderful actress Jessica Brown Findley as the main character Marianne. It becomes very clear that Marianne is struggling with her marriage, and Jessica manage to capture those emotions through her acting. I also feel that Jessica manage to bring a female character, that probably was not allowed to express herself, the way that she does. She is clearly not afraid to say what she feels, and as a woman in the 1930´s, i can imagine that you were not allowed to behave in a certain way, so this also helps the character become more interesting. The horror scenes reminds me a bit of the 2001 horror film The Others, since it´s more about the atmosphere than CGI effects. And the ghostly approach of The Banishing is the biggest reason why this film works, a part from great acting. If you want to make a horror film effective, use simple details as The Banishing does. This is definetely a film for fans of The Others, and other similar ghost horror films. Director Christopher Smith ( who i especially remember for his 2004 film Creep, definetely worth checking out ) manage to balance a classic horror story, and add a few nice details into The Banishing as well. I would probably say that this is one of his better films in recent years, so what are you waiting for? Go check out The Banishing on VOD right now.