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This is a clever `who-dunnit?' but is sadly let down by a made-for-TV look that feels as though you're watching an old VHS recently found from behind the settee.

It's pretty well acted, I say pretty well because the performances won't take your breath away - but they're convincing enough to believe the characters. Sophia Myles looks to have enough childhood innocence to pull off a teenage obsession with American art teacher Matthew Van Huet. A risky affair - especially when he happens to be married to Veronica, the owner of the private school. His extra-curricular activities, both with the schoolgirl, and as a forger (passing off his own paintings as his dads) to fund the school soon lead the small cast into a murderous labyrinth, with lots of twists and dead ends.

By the end of the film you have to have your wits about you. The pace of the film is slow, but the empty school gives an eery, almost 'The Shining'-esque feel. The film kicks into action for the last half hour or so as your power of investigation is given a thorough workout. By the time the credits are rolling you might feel a bit dazed as you mentally run through what you've just seen to ensure who understand who did what to whom.
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on 29 January 2010
This film is obviously made on a modest budget although amongst the small cast there are several familiar faces. The setting is a private girls school during half term which provides an atmospheric location.

Louise is keen to stay over half term as she's having an affair with the art teacher but things take a turn for the worst when she believes he has been murdered by his wife, the headmistress. The plot rattles along at a steady rate and towards the end the body count builds up alarmingly.

It's not the greatest whodunit but it's a pleasant enough little film.
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on 4 February 2010

It's time for half term holidays at 'Lady Margaret Oakes School For Girls', a boarding school in the English countryside. All the pupils are going home, but one girl, 18 year old Louise(Sophia Myles)would rather stay in the school. She tells headmistress Veronica Van Huet(Sophie Ward) she needs to study hard for her exams. In reality Louise has very different reasons for wanting to stay, she can't bear the thought of being apart from her lover, art teacher Mathew(George Asprey), who also happens to be Mrs Van Huet's husband. One day, the headmistress goes out, Louise joins her lover in his studio, but Veronica returns unexpectedly to find them making love. Things then take a murderous turn at the school, with bodies piling up faster than you can say 'Midsomer Murders'. Is it all really happening, or is it a figment of Louise's imagination?
This film seems to be trying to recapture the look and feel of an old school British psychological thriller, the type that Hammer films made so well in the 1960's and 70's. For a while it does seem to be a classic 'drive the heroine mad' story, with twists at every corner, and murky motivations on the parts of the protagonists. Somewhere along the way though, the film gets lost and trips over its own complicated story, ending up in a real mess of ludicrous plot contrivances and hoary old cliches. A great shame, as it is very competently made, with a good cast, and excellent production values. So instead of coming across like a modern day variation of those Hammer greats, it ends up more like a watered down Ruth Rendell mystery, one that drags on for far too long.
As briefly mentioned before the cast generally do a good job. Sophia Myles is excellent as the pupil in peril, Sophie Ward very competant as the edgy Headmistress, and Celia Imrie is also very good as a dotty school doctor. The male characters don't come across so well, with George Asprey given little to do in a part that promised much, and Michael Elphick criminally wasted in his last film role.
To sum up I'm afraid that I can't honestly give the film more than 2 out of 5, as the resolutions were so unsatisfactory I actually felt cheated at the end. Not so much 'Fear In The Night' as flop in the dark.
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on 16 April 2009
The Film gets off to a great start, it has an erie feel, and you sit close to edge of your seat most of the way through, unfortunatly the story gets a bit complicated towards the end with a few unescesery twists, it gets to the point where you think oh no not another one, the cast is good though, with the lead being an excellent sophia myles-for any fan of hers this is a must, myles performance in my eyes was the strongest of the cast, though she is supported well by sophie ward and a very creepy celia imrie, if your willing to go along for the strange ride, then get this film, it has the makings to be great.
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on 1 July 2008
I managed to catch this film on the BBC last year, and I thought it was really great. It had enough plot twists to keep you guessing right up to the end, and it was made real by some pretty good acting as well. Overall, a great film to keep you entertained for an evening, and a bargain at the price it is being sold at!
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on 9 December 2014
Sophies brilliant just like her dad ( Young Winston, Zulu Dawn, Judge John deed, + many others.) Sorry i went into one loved the dvd thankyou
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VINE VOICEon 19 October 2010
There are few surprises in this strangely old fashioned film. It feels like a long episode of 'Hammer House of Horror', and is about as scary!I bought the film based on the promising cast, and was disappointed to see some of the wooden acting on display. The set, atmosphere, and suspense are all sadly lacking. I wouldn't bother. (Really, I wouldn't.)
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