As a keen horror fan, this movie sounded like it was right up my street and having looked at some reviews online which were heavily favourable, I was hopeful it would be a great watch. Perhaps because my expectations were set so high, this film did leave me a little disappointed....
The movie started off well, with an interesting and charming lead character (played by Rebecca Hall) who you take an instant liking to. As a ghost "hunter" set on disproving the existence of ghosts and exposing people who fake them for financial gain, she doesn't fall into the typical haunting "victim" category. When she's asked to investigate a haunting at a boys boarding school, it starts off well - the first night having lots of activity which keeps you in suspense waiting for that moment you know is coming where something will make you jump - unfortunately it didn't really come but the suspense was good enough to keep me engaged anyway.
Unfortunately after that, the plot seems to go downhill and become somewhat disjointed with several scenes that just don't seem to add anything to the story or really e.g. falling into the lake, the attempted rape etc.
<WARNING - THE NEXT PARAGRAPHS CONTAIN SPOILERS. SKIP TO LAST PARAGRAPH TO AVOID>
Other scenes just made no sense once you realise that Tom is a ghost for example, who did Robert believe Florence was speaking to about her fiancée if not Tom? Did he hear just her side of the conversation? If so, it would have made no sense!
I also felt that several bits of the plot were left as loose ends when they really needn't have been. For example Tom indicated that he was scared of someone (which we must assume is te ghost of his father) but this is never picked up again after Florence knows the truth and I was unable to understand why Florence could no longer see Tom or Maud after Maud killed herself - what would cause this? Finally, while I could just about "buy" that Florence had forgotten the trauma of her childhood (despite apparently having wrote about it in her book), I did struggle to believe that she didn't even know who her parents were, how they died or that lady caring for her in the initial scenes wouldn't have some indication? I initially thought maybe I'd "missed something" and perhaps I have, but having spoken to others who watched it I didn't seem to be alone!
Overall, this movie had real potential and it's direction and general "feel" are great, as is the lead character Florence but it's let down by what appears to be either poor editing and/or a requirement to cut time out of the movie which has left gaps making the scenes feel disjointed or nonsensical. It's worth watching, but don't expect to be left scared out of your skin from this one - it's more about the emotional relationships than it is the spooky ghosts.