Lewis Gilbert made a literal ton of movies — more than forty over six decades — including Sink the Bismark!, Alfie, You Only Live Twice, The Spy Who Loved Me, Moonraker and Educating Rita, Here, he’s doing an adaption of a James Herbert novel. You may know the writer from his multiple books dealing with plagues of rats which were turned into Deadly Eyes. Actually, you probably don’t. I kind of get obsessed about things no one else cares about.
David Ash (Aidan Quinn) is an American parapsychology professor at Oxford who was motivated by the death of his twin sister Juliet to discredit the existence of ghosts. Ms. Webb asks him to travel to Sussex, where he’s met by Christina Mariell (Kate Beckinsale) and asked to intervene in some ghost-related sightings. He’s really been called by the withdrawn Nanny Tess (Anna Massey, Peeping Tom) who notices even stranger things happening between Christina and her brothers Robert and Simon (Anthony Andrews and Alex Lowe).
Of course, David has fallen for Christina. I mean, 1995 Kate Beckinsdale (actually, we don’t need to put a year on her). But she’s a bit way too close with her brother Robert. You know — British horror movie close. Once they finally make love — I’m talking about David and Christina — he wakes up the next morning to an empty house and finds a grave that claims that the whole family died in 1923. That’s because their mother saw all three of the siblings having sex, drowned herself in the lake and then their nanny locked them in a room and set the house on fire. Oh British upper crust — you’re the best.
Haunted isn’t discussed much when it comes to ghost movies. But hey — it’s worth checking out, particularly if you like strange British people. Because my sole experience with British people would be the movies of Hammer and Amicus, I know no other kind.