Director: Lenny Abrahamson
Starring: Domhnall Gleeson, Ruth Wilson, Will Poulter
The Little Stranger had a very interesting trailer which grabbed my attention. Being a fan of period dramas, horrors, mysteries and thrillers, this looked to be something of a great mixture. A beautiful cast alongside this had me at hello. Unfortunately, it turned out to be a slow burner.
Dr Faraday who was the son of a housemaid is called back to the house his mother worked at called Hundreds Hall. This had been the home of the Ayres family for over 2 centuries. Now housing a mother, son and daughter, the house is haunted by some sort of entity. While taking care of his new patient, Faraday discovers how closely the family’s haunted story is to his own.
Gleeson as Dr Faraday was a great match. He played this very awkward but straightforward, prim and proper early 20th century man who ends up developing feelings for Caroline Ayres (Wilson). This sort of on off relationship was entertaining because of how awkward it was. This relationship made the characters open more to the audience, like a little blooming flower, so we had a better understanding of the type of people they were.
Personally, I was very impressed by Will Poulter’s performance as Rod Ayres, the master of the house and former RAF pilot who had been seriously burned during combat. Now suffering from depression and being overly obsessed with how the house is deteriorating. I’ve never seen him in a role like this before. I’ve seen him in serious roles before, but this was a little beyond that and he’s really put it out there that he’s a serious actor.
With these great performances and cinematography, set designs and outfits, what really let the film down was the story. It was slow, and I easily lost interest half way through because after what the trailer showed and what this film is about, it took an age and a half before anything “spooky” happened. This is supposed to be a ghost story and it felt very far from that and focused a lot more on Faraday and the actual Ayres family. The ending was also very confusing and I’m still unsure what actually happened and why. It wasn’t put together very well at all.
For what was there, there was a little entertainment like mentioned before Faraday’s relationship with Caroline, also the child maid that was working at the house was quite funny. But it’s very far from being a ghost story.
Great cast, performances, cinematography, but confusing, slow and not what was expected from what the trailer showed.