Writer: Lucinda Coxon (Screenplay) Sarah Waters (Novel)
Starring: Domhnall Gleeson, Will Poulter, Ruth Wilson, Liv Hill, Charlotte Rampling, Oliver Zetterstrom, Kathryn O’Reilly
Plot: After a doctor is called to visit a crumbling manor, strange things begin to occur.
Tagline – These Delusions Are Contagious
Runtime: 1 Hour 51 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: More Like a Little Dull
Story: The Little Stranger starts when small village Doctor Faraday (Gleeson) treats a maid at a mansion that is often seen as the outsiders of the village, the Ayres, with the mother of the house (Rampling) and her children Caroline (Wilson) and the injured war hero Roderick (Poulter) filling the mansion.
Faraday decides to help Roderick with his injuries, while becoming closer to Caroline, Faraday starts getting memories of his time in the mansion as a child, before strange events start happening around the mansion, ones that a medical person couldn’t answer with ease.
Thoughts on The Little Stranger
Characters – Dr Faraday is a young doctor who takes a fondness of an outcasted family, he wants to help the injured brother, wants to save Caroline, while being left in the middle being able to help them or a potential supernatural presence in the house. Roderick is the injured war hero, he was left with a limp and burns to his face, which make him feel outcasted from the rest of the village and useless to his family, he is struggling with the mental side of everything too, leaving him to make rash decisions. Caroline is the daughter of the household, she is the one that they family has hope of seeing escape their impending poverty and becomes the ones that Faraday takes an interest in. she comes off unsure of what to make of her own future. Mrs Ayres is the mother of the house, she wants the best for her children and is still haunted by the one that she lost.
Performances – I don’t think any of the performances in this film are bad, Domhnall Gleeson does everything he can in the leading role, as does Will Poulter in his supporting role, Ruth Wilson and Charlotte Rampling don’t disappoint with what they try to bring to the film, the problem with most of this film, comes from the characters be so bland and the story not going anywhere.
Story – The story here follows a doctor getting close to a family that are seen as outcasts only to start to fall in love with one member of the family just as the strange events start to happen within the mansion. This is where the story just doesn’t get going, we are promised a horror element to this film which just never comes to life, which makes the story feel like more of a class position story. if that sounds confusing, well that doesn’t change from the story in full, because we have very little happening here and end up just shrugging our shoulders at the end, wondering if anything was actually meant to happen.
Horror/Mystery – The horror in this film does seem to be non-existent, where anything supernatural does seem to only be part of the mystery over anything else going on in the film.
Settings – The film is set mostly in the mansion in a village in the English countryside, it shows how the family can be seen as outcasts and how people can look out at these types of buildings hoping to be part of this society.
Special Effects – The effects in the film are down the practical additions to Will Poulter, they look great, everything else just seems basic.
Final Thoughts – This is a film that seems to hint at something big, only to end up feeling dull and uninspiring.
Overall: Just fails to deliver.