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Ghost stories for Christmas,
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This review is from: Haunted [DVD] (DVD)
These well-crafted films made by Granada Television were shown on ITV over Christmas 1974, the same Christmas the BBC broadcast their dramatisation "The Treasure of Abbott Thomas" by M.R. James. These films are quite different in style but no less entertaining.
Kingsley Amis's "The Ferryman" stars Jeremy Brett as an author whose novel seems to be unfolding in real life in front of his eyes. Atmospherically shot in a country inn, it has a creepy feel and the growing sense of unease as life imitates art.
The second story is a period piece, Elizabeth Taylor's "Poor Girl". The Edwardian governess with precocious and just slightly sinister child recalls Henry James's "The Turn of the Screw", with slightly unsettling scenes and a real sense of unease, though many of the terrors here are more earthly. A more subtle ghost story than the first one, but both make use of pyschological drama rather than overt shock elements.
Both have a cinematic feel and are well acted and produced. A very welcome release on DVD, these are highly enjoyable tales and whilst not quite having the magic of some of the 70s ghost story films are certainly chilling in all the right places and very interesting. The film is a little battered here and there though picture quality is good, though there are no subtitles nor bonus features on the DVD.