Rev Rank: 1/5
“The Turning” is a movie that brings the essence of an early 2010s horror movie back from the dead.
The movie started off promising with an immediate connection between Kate Mandell (Mackenzie Davis) and Flora (Brooklynn Prince). It wasn’t until halfway into the movie that things started to turn sour.
Floria Sigismondi’s adaptation of Harry James’ novella “The Turn of the Screw" never seemed to have a clear direction. Many of the scares in the movie were fueled solely by unnerving music or shock factor rather than trying to be genuinely scary.
The start of the movie reveals how the previous nanny disappeared without a trace. As soon as Kate moves in, the movie tries to play up as many scares as it can, making it difficult to tell if there are ghosts or if it’s all in Kate’s imagination.
Finn Wolfhard, who plays Flora’s older brother, Miles, who has just been expelled and is extremely spoiled, finally arrives. That’s when the movie gets puzzling. It’s his character’s introduction that turns the movie’s potential into something altogether confusing.
Miles’ creepy manner and relentless pursuit of Kate gives the movie an unsettling feeling. On top of this, his horse trainer suddenly went missing as well. The movie later reveals he killed the nanny before Kate and then was killed by the housekeeper Mrs. Grose.
The last bit of the movie is spent having Kate try to rescue the kids from the haunted house only for it to return to a previous scene and play out an alternate ending where Kate could possibly be mentally ill, something she inherited from her mother who is in a care facility.
The movie leaves on a massive cliffhanger with no explanation for either possible ending leaving the audience asking themselves what they just watched. While if done correctly, would have had a similar effect to “Clue,” the movie failed itself by leaving plot holes in just about every scene.
While the actors did a good job with the provided material, “The Turning” left the audience’s brains turning for all the wrong reasons.