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Still Chilling After All These Years
on 24 November 2008
In my youth the BBC ran a strand of films on Saturday evening entitled The Saturday Thriller. First off was Psycho, which was the first time I'd seen that movie, then came The Innocents which had a much greater effect on me. I have seen the former many times since and it is obviously a classic but I have only just seen The Innocents again and I was stunned at how creepy it really is, especially as I see more in it now than I did as a child.
At the time I first saw this movie my grandmother was living in a lodge house next to a rather neglected large country house, in front of the house was an area of long grass that was reminiscent of the scene where the figure of the previous, dead, nanny had appeared in the reed bed next to the lake in the film. I still get goose pimples thinking about the first time I stood there and remembered a scene from the film and ran back to my gran's house in terror. I never talked to anyone about it at the time but just recently found that my sister had had the same experience, scary indeed.
When I watched it again recently I was amazed at how powerful it is and only in a couple of places did the dramatic music and the histrionics snap me out of my suspended disbelief, this is a true classic of the genre but it is not comfortable viewing, leaving the audience unnerved for some time afterwards. I had over 40 years between viewings and I still remembered how creepy it was first time round.