The Turning (2020)

Originally released January 24th 2020


Kate (Mackenzie Davis) becomes the governess for a young girl named Flora (Brooklyn Prince), who despite her young age, has been dealt her fair share of traumas. She witnessed the death of her parents in an accident just beyond the front gate of the property, and then after growing close with her live-in tutor Miss Jessel (Denna Thomson) she too leaves without saying goodbye to the young girl. Upon her first night staying in the house, Kate hears noises coming from the East Wing of the house, and upon investigating it, she meets Miles (Finn Wolfhard).

Miles was expelled from his school due to attacking another student, and he and Kate’s relationship becomes strained at best. He begins to act more and more like the deceased Quint (Niall Greig Fulton) as time goes on, and the longer Kate stays in the house, she begins to experience nightmares and witnessing the ghosts of Miss Jessel and Quint. Despite the toll all of the experiences are having on her, she refuses to leave due to a promise she made to Flora when she first arrived. In the end, we are left to wonder whether Kate herself has lost her grip on her sanity, just as her mother appeared to, or if the events that have unfolded around her were in fact true.

My thoughts

This movie doesn’t end with a concrete conclusion, one that the audience could walk away with, content that they know how it all ends. In fact, it is the opposite. We are left not knowing whether any of it was real, and if it was, if the lives of those in the house are doomed or not. We don’t know if in the end, when Kate is shown to be in the mental institution whether she is seeing her mother, or a reflection of herself. We are left not knowing very much at all. That can be very frustrating for people, because it definitely was for me. I haven’t read the source material, The Turn of the Screw by Henry James, but I’ve looked into and it seems as though it was already a confusing story, one that didn’t end in a concise way.

Finn Wolfhard has made a name for himself, starring in Stranger Things, It (2017), It Chapter Two (2019) and the The Addams Family (2019), among others, and I really think he made this film as creepy as it was. There’s something about his presence in a scene where his character is making dark remarks that really adds to the atmosphere of the entire film. Another name from this film that really shaped the entire experience is Mackenzie Davis, who played Kate. Throughout the film we got to witness her descent into madness, whether it be due to genetic factors, or as a result of supernatural entities. She takes up a lot of screen time, as we watch her either be tormented by the living, breathing, Miles or by the seemingly long-dead ghosts of Miss Jessel and Quint.

It was actually surprising for me to learn that on Cinemascore, it received a rare F rating. You know what else has earned an F rating this year? The Grudge (2020). This rating, I can agree with but I have to dispute the rating for The Turning (2020). While the ending was confusing, and that is enough to make people dislike a movie, it wasn’t a disappointment just as The Grudge (2020) was. I say more people need to watch the film, in order to really see for themselves.

Have any of you watched it? What did you think? Let me know down in the comments.

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