REVIEW: The Little Stranger is not a typical ghost story, it's a slow burn but a thoroughly rewarding watch

PUBLISHED: 15:06 29 October 2018 | UPDATED: 15:06 29 October 2018

The Little Stranger by Sarah Walters

The Little Stranger by Sarah Walters

Archant

From Lenny Abrahamson, director of the Oscar-nominated Room, comes this haunting period drama staring Domnhall Gleeson and Ruth Wilson.

Gleeson plays Doctor Faraday, a 1940s physician called to attend a sick maid at Hundreds Hall, a sprawling countryside manor, he is familiar with from his youth.

However, upon arrival he is drawn into a much deeper mystery surrounding the residents of the vast estate and a potential haunting at the manor itself.

From Lenny Abrahamson, director of the Oscar-nominated Room, comes this haunting period drama staring Domnhall Gleeson and Ruth Wilson.

Gleeson plays Doctor Faraday, a 1940s physician called to attend a sick maid at Hundreds Hall, a sprawling countryside manor, he is familiar with from his youth.

However, upon arrival he is drawn into a much deeper mystery surrounding the residents of the vast estate and a potential haunting at the manor itself.

Adapted from the Booker prize listed novel by Sarah Waters, The little Stranger is not the jump scare horror movie its marketing campaign may suggest. It is in fact a much more low key drama and a thoroughly absorbing one at that.

Gleeson is perfectly cast and utterly believable as the buttoned up and emotionless Faraday. The complete antithesis of his cartoonish portrayal of General Hux in the recent Star Wars films.

Charlotte Rampling and Will Poulter co star as the family matriarch Mrs Ayers and her deeply troubled son Roderick.

However, the star of the show is undoubtedly Ruth Wilson. The Kent born actress is outstanding in the role of Caroline Ayers. Expertly portraying the character as outwardly scatty, but with deep sadness and uncertainty behind her eyes.

The film itself is hard to classify, it does have scary moments and is at times quite disturbing, but this is not your typical ghost story.

While exploring themes of jealousy and inadequacy, it has more in common with a psychological drama than outright horror.

The Little Stranger is a slow burn and as a result, may not be to everyone’s taste, but fans of intelligent character pieces will find this a thoroughly rewarding watch.

In delivering another truly original piece of work, Abrahamson has marked himself out as one of the most interesting filmmakers around today.

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