The Banishing (2020) Movie Review

The Banishing – Slow Building Horror

Director: Christopher Smith

Writer: David Beton, Ray Bogdanovich, Dean Lines (Screenplay)

Starring: Jessica Brown Findlay, John Lynch, Sean Harris, John Heffernan, Adam Hugill, Jason Thorpe

Plot: The Banishing tells the story of the most haunted house in England. In the 1930s, a young reverend, his wife and daughter move into a manor with a horrifying secret.

Runtime: 1 Hour 37 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: The Banishing starts when a family Marianne (Findlay), Linus (Heffernan) and daughter Adelaide (McKenna-Bruce) move into a manor house that comes with the new role as reverend in the local town. Linus does find himself getting a visit from Harry (Harris) warning him about the manor house, while his boss Malachi (Lynch) warns him about the local stories being told to him.

When Marianne starts seeing unexpected events around the house, she finds herself starting to question her own sanity, with her husband Linus not wanting to turn away from his faith to believe her, leaving her to try and learn the secrets of the manor.

Thoughts on The Banishing

Characters & Performances – Marianne is the reverend’s wife that is looking to rebuild her relationship with her daughter after being apart for a time, she doesn’t enjoy the size of their new manor home, believing the amount of people suffering could use the additional location. Jessica Brown Findlay does well in the leading role, reacting well to the horror scenes that a built up for the reaction moment. Linus is her husband and the new reverend that is looking to put his life back together with a quiet parish that could offer him peace, he doesn’t want to move away from his beliefs when searching for answers in the house. John Heffernan does bring this traumatised man to life with ease, showing the distant side of his character. Malachi is the man that gives Linus the job, he warns him that he will always hear stories around the town and not to worry about them. John Lynch brings the stricter figure into the film, showing how one person will do anything to hide the truth. Harry Price is known as the town crazy person, though he knows the truth about what has happened in the house, looking for a way to warn the family of what might be coming if they spend too much time in the house. Sean Harris plays this role with ease, he will keep things feeling uneasy like he might be making it up, while also showing the importance of his warning.

StoryThe story here follows a family that move into a manor house only for them to learn the manor house has a dark secret, one that starts haunting them to reveal their secrets. This is a story that we do get to see a lot nowadays, following the new family being haunted, with each haunting becoming more intense, while outside the family people are either warning or ensuring them there is nothing to worry about. The story does have a slow pace, which does show when we are not around the haunting moments, which are the more interesting ones to watch, add in the background of the incoming war, that could change everything for the characters. It does end up falling into the warning one, but doesn’t manage to capture the magic we have seen in so many horrors before it.

ThemesThe Banishing is a horror that will see a lot of creepiness happening in the darkness or shadows of a remote manor house, with secrets around every corner. Most are slowly built up scares, which are the strongest part of the film, with the scale of the house being added to the mystery about what is going on.


The Banishing is a slow moving horror that doesn’t get the scares to become as intense as it could have.

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