Thursday 21 October 2010

I liked this even if I would not rate it as highly as Martin Scorsese does (although his list is rather good). An old-fashioned ghost story, well told. I began suspecting the good mother/bad mother switch about halfway through, but it was still a good twist. I thought Gail Russell overdid the wide-eyed naif bit, but mainly I wonder how much better this might have been if the studio hadn't insisted on bringing the ghost onscreen; the reaction shots where someone stares, rapt in terror, at something outside the frame were far more chilling than the actual floaty-gauzy thing. It's the same quandary I face in writing my stories: how much to tell? Is the answer always: less is more?

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