Thursday, 15 September 2016

A View from a Hill (2005)

Onwards to the newer, revival Ghost Stories for Christmas and backwards to M.R. James.

Museum curator, Dr. Fanshawe, borrows a pair of binoculars seem to show scenes from the past and thus starts a tale of the dissolution of the monasteries (nicely linked to the decline of the aristocracy in the early 20th century), obsession, hangings and rural horror.

Casualty's Mark Letheren puts on a good show as the uncomfortable fish-out-of-water Fanshawe. Pip Torrens as the local squire reminded me a bit of Hugh Laurie's characters from his days in Fry & Laurie and as Bertie Wooster. David Burke deserves a special mention as the stoic butler, Patten who provides the much-needed clues that bring past deeds to light.

There's some nice photography that captures the feel of the countryside in late winter (the Gorse is flowering) and the claustrophobic terror that a night in the woods can bring. For a change, we get good production values and some great props. It's also nice to see that they seem to get James's occasional and subtle humour.

While not particularly grisly, A View From A Hill is a fine James adaptation and a worthy start to the short Christmas Ghost Story revival.

Nope-Tober: Random Shit for an Ill-disciplined Mind

Letterboxd Review

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