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“The Turning” may have creepy kids, but the jump scares are weak and the ending… well…


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“The Turning” may have creepy kids, but the jump scares are weak and the ending… well…


Director(s) Floria Sigismondi
Screenplay By Carey W. Hayes, Chad Hayes
Date Released (Theatrical) 1/23/2020
Genre(s) Horror, Mystery
Duration 1 Hour, 34 Minutes
Noted Cast
Kate Mackenzie Davis
Flora Brooklynn Prince
Mrs. Grose Barbara Marten
Miss Jessel Denna Thomsen
Peter Quint Niall Greig Fulton
Miles Finn Wolfhard

This content contains pertinent spoilers.

Plot Summary

Kate, a young teacher in 1994, decides to leave her classroom environment of 20+ kids to teach one sole child, Flora. Someone who lives solely with the housemaid, Mrs. Grose, and her older brother, Miles. At least, that is the impression Kate initially has until the ghosts of Miss Jessel, Flora’s former teacher, and one Peter Quint appeared. Thus pushing Kate to try to discover what happened and, naturally, try to escape.

Review

Rating: Negative (Acquired Taste)

Highlights

It’s Creepy At Times – 80

One of the few highlights of “The Turning” is the visual effects. You can see that there was time and effort into creating the opportunity to scare viewers. Also, being that Miles had this weird love/hate relationship where he’d say some forward things to Kate one moment and then would try to scare her the next, that could put you on edge. Add in a Flora being creepy as 7-year-olds are, and while neither will outright scare you, they will give you the creeps and make you wonder why has Kate not resigned?

Criticism

Most Of The Jump Scares Fall Flat – 65

“The Turning” is by no means trying to reinvent the wheel. It’s a movie with ghosts, so naturally, people pop up in mirrors, if the music dies down things come out of nowhere, and all the stuff you’d expect if you are a fan of the horror genre. The problem is with this movie, even for someone who is jumpy like me, none of the scares freaked me out. Whether we’re talking about the ghosts, the kids, or even Mrs. Grose, who is a weird one, you can recognize when you are supposed to feel fear, but it is like dealing with a comedy that has a laugh track. Each moment falls flat and you just sit there awkwardly hoping they don’t try that again.

The Ending Is Abrupt & Frustrating – 64

Most of the movie is dedicated to Kate staying for Flora has abandonment issues, amongst other things. However, as we reach the end and the ghosts become more pronounced, it takes a left. One which leads to an ending that leaves you asking questions, and while one of the answers is evident, there remains some “How?” and “Why” questions.

The Turning Ending Spoilers

So, from what we’re told/ see, Peter Quint stalked, likely assaulted, and killed Miss Jessel. Following that, to protect the kids’ legacy, Mrs. Grose made sure Peter died, and it looked like he drunkenly fell off a horse, and that did him in. From there, things get murky.

Kate, who sees Miss Jessel multiple times in mirrors, and discovers her body, is naturally freaked out. Also, the ghost of Peter Quint haunts her, stalks her, and tries to choke her. However, Mrs. Grose appears, and Peter disappears. But, as time wears on, Mrs. Grose starts to think Kate is a threat, especially to Miles, and threatens her. Mind you, not with a weapon or anything, but she makes it clear that Kate is on thin ice. Making Kate accidentally killing Mrs. Grose a shock.

But then things begin to get confusing, especially if you haven’t read the source material. For what we see is Kate deciding she is going to save Flora and also Miles. However, as soon as she reaches the gates, she finds herself back in the house without a reflection. Thus pushing the idea she might have died. Which, since Miles has been screwing with her, as well as Peter, we’re left somewhere between assuming she died and is now a ghost-like Miss Jessel and Peter, or that Kate is truly losing it, as her mom has long so done, and she is losing her grip.

Either way, it seems Kate is stuck in that house, and she, Flora, Miles, Mrs. Grose, alongside the ghosts of Peter Quint and Miss Jessel, aren’t going anywhere.

Is A Sequel Possible?

Technically they could introduce a new person to tutor Flora, or Kate’s former roommate could go check on her, but that would assume this gets a sequel.

It’s Creepy At Times - 80%
Most Of The Jump Scares Fall Flat - 65%
The Ending Is Abrupt & Frustrating - 64%

70%

“The Turning” barely qualifies as something which has/had potential. Mostly due to the fact it had creepy kids, a big house, and ghosts. Yet, despite all the staples of the horror genre, this PG-13 film trips, falls, and tumbles any and all attempts to scare its audience. Then, to make matters worse, it has the kind of ending that doesn’t leave room for a sequel, nor is technically a cliffhanger, but does leave you with questions unanswered. Hence the negative label and the belief this is an acquired taste.

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