*“The Little Stranger” has intrigue and a twist, but is it a ghost story or astral figments of the imagination? “The Little Stranger” is the story of Dr. Faraday (Domhnall Gleeson), a country doctor. During the long hot summer of 1948, he is called to attend a patient (Liv Hill) at Hundreds Hall, where his mother once worked as a maid.
The Hall has been home to the Ayres family for more than two centuries. But it is now in decline and its inhabitants—mother, son, and daughter—are haunted by something more ominous than a dying way of life. Once there, Faraday becomes entwined in the family’s fabric of intrigue.
Unsettling happenings occurring in the house brought about the patient’s feigned illness. The war veteran brother always smelled smoke and the Hall’s matriarch believes her long deceased daughter makes appearances at the Hall. Dr. Faraday told them all that they are slaves to their imagination. But what about the annoying young guest mauled at a dinner party? Was it the friendly house pet that was unfortunately put down for the attack or an evil supernatural entity?
The gothic tale moves slowly to effectively drag audiences in as they hang onto each frightening frame. The twisted ending, however, is a sorrowful let down to the extremely heightened moments leading to its climax. Either this is lazy writing or a loss of concrete ideas.
Directed by Lenny Abrahamson, “The Little Stranger” also stars Ruth Wilson, Will Poulter, and Charlotte Rampling, with an appearance by Christian Wolf-La’Moy as the Vicar.
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