UK, 2012, 107 minutes, Colour.
Rebecca Hall, Dominic West, Imelda Staunton, Joseph Mawle. Shaun Dooley, Isaac Hempstead- Wright, John Shrapnel.
Directed by Nick Murphy
When there is a story about children and ghosts, many think about Henry James’s classic The turn Of the Screw and Jack clayton’s very effective film version, The Innocents.
However, this film resembles ghost story of 1995, The Haunted, with Aidan Quinn as an exposer of fakes, involved in an encounter with a family, a governess who sees a ghost, and he himself experiences ghostly sightings. Audiences familiar with The Others will not be surprised.
1. The popularity of ghost stories? In the English setting? The 1920s? Beliefs at the time?
2. The British setting, the location photography, the school, the grounds? The re- creation of period? Costumes and decor? Musical score?
3. The title, the ghost, the ambiguity, the twist?
4. The situation, Florence and her scepticism, the request to go to the school, the visit, the staff, the students, the ghost, the effect on Florence?
5. The character of Florence, a woman of the 20s, the death of her lover in World War I, her scepticism, interest in hoaxes? Her role as a ghost hunter? Exposing fakes?
6. Robert Mallory, his war experience, teaching, his concern about the ghosts, the student dying, Maude and the staff? His request of Florence? The inevitable attraction towards each other?
7. Maude, her place at the school, her character, protective, the boys, the ghosts? Florence and her suspicions?
8. The boy and his fear, the ghost? The apparition?
9. Mc Nair, his role of the school, his role in the apparitions?
10. Florence and the cameras, Mallory’s succession of photos, the presence of the ghost? Florence and her setting up cameras throughout the house? And her own visions? The child? Dropping the lighter into the pond, the memories of her lover, killed in the war, her going into the pond, Mallory, the rescue?
11. The school empty, the holidays, Florence and Mallory and their sexual encounter? You line, Judd, the groundsman, his character, his attack on Florence, Mallory beating him?
12. The role of the music box, Florence's memories, realisation that Tom was actually a ghost, visible to herself, to Maude, his being Maude’ son, Florence’s half brother? The memories of her father, his attack, killing Tom and Florence’s mother?
13. Maude, wanting to be united with her son, the sherry, the poison, her death? Florence drinking the poison? Mallory saving her?
14. How effective as a ghost story?