The Innocents

Watch The Innocents

"Apparitions? Evils? Corruptions?"
  • NR
  • 1961
  • 1 hr 40 min
  • 7.8  (32,579)
  • 88

The Innocents, released in 1961, is a horror film directed by Jack Clayton. The movie is based on the novel "The Turn of the Screw" by Henry James, which is widely considered to be one of the most frightening ghost stories in English literature. Set in Victorian England, the story follows Miss Giddens (Deborah Kerr), a young and inexperienced governess who is hired to take care of two young orphans, Flora (Pamela Franklin) and Miles (Martin Stephens). The children's previous governess, Miss Jessel, died under mysterious circumstances, and their uncle, who is their guardian, has instructed Miss Giddens to keep the children away from any knowledge of their former caretaker.

Soon after her arrival at their sprawling estate, Miss Giddens begins to notice strange occurrences. She sees the ghostly apparition of a man and a woman, who she believes to be Miss Jessel and her former lover Peter Quint (Peter Wyngarde). Miss Giddens becomes convinced that the ghosts are after the souls of the children, and she becomes increasingly convinced that something supernatural is going on, even as the other members of the household dismiss her concerns.

As the ghostly events escalate, Miss Giddens becomes more and more obsessed with protecting the children from harm. She believes that the ghosts are trying to possess the children and use them to continue their unhealthy relationship, and she begins to take drastic measures to keep them safe.

The Innocents is a masterfully crafted horror film that expertly combines genuine scares with a captivating story. Deborah Kerr's performance as the increasingly troubled governess is haunting and convincing, and the two child actors who play Flora and Miles are equally impressive.

The cinematography in The Innocents is simply stunning, with the moody and atmospheric black and white photography lending an eerie quality to the proceedings. The music, composed by Georges Auric, is another standout element, with its unsettling score adding to the sense of unease that permeates the film.

One of the most interesting aspects of The Innocents is its ambiguity. The film never definitively states whether the ghosts are real or merely a figment of Miss Giddens' imagination. This leaves the viewer to interpret the story in their own way, and makes for a haunting and thought-provoking film that lingers in the memory long after the credits have rolled.

Overall, The Innocents is a classic horror film that remains just as chilling today as it did when it was first released. With its excellent performances, beautiful cinematography, and evocative score, it is a movie that is sure to leave a lasting impression on anyone who watches it.

The Innocents
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 40 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.8  (32,579)
  • Metascore