The Neglected grandeur of Hundreds Hall is the setting for Lenny Abrahamson’s latest offering The Little Stranger, Lucinda Coxin’s screenplay having been adapted from the surprisingly recent novel of the same name from 2009.
Domhnall Gleeson plays Faraday, a country doctor who is called out to the once grand Hundreds Hall to tend to the house’s sick maid. Upon visiting the house, which he had previously visited as a boy, Faraday finds things aren’t how they used to be; or perhaps not how they should be.
The daughter of the estate Caroline Ayres, (played by the brilliant Ruth Wilson) together with the house’s young maid are trying to hold things together, and barely managing. Meanwhile Caroline’s brother, bearing both the physical and emotional scars left from fighting in the great war is finding it difficult to live a normal life again, stuck in an increasingly decaying body and a mind as unstable as the four walls around him. Meanwhile, the matriarch of the family, (played by Charlotte Rampling) is haunted by the loss of a child many years before.
It is Faraday’s shared memory’s with the family which draw him even closer to the crumbling dwelling and the people contained within. However the closer he gets the more dangerous events become to all involved.
It is refreshing, in the midst of shock horror cinema events to have the pleasure of observing a well ployed, atmospheric and tense ghost story which uses the power of suggestion to grab the audience’s attention rather than sensational cheap scares. The Little Stranger is a must see.