30 Coins is a Spanish supernatural horror fantasy TV drama that draws heavily from the Catholic religion and mythology. The series is created and directed by noted Spanish filmmaker Álex de la Iglesia. The 8-part 30 Coins Season 1 of is an ambitious mystery thriller utilising several conspiracy theories relating to the Catholic church, much in the vein of Dan Brown’s Robert Langdon series.
Our analysis of 30 Coins Season 1 contains spoilers.
American Gods S03E01 is the first episode in the latest season of this supernatural fantasy TV drama. The series is adapted from Neil Gaiman’s 2001 novel of the same name. The premise relates to a mythological war between ancient deities who were brought into the U.S.A. by immigrants centuries ago and new gods brought about changes in contemporary society and culture.
Crimson Peak is a 2015 gothic romance horror drama directed by Guillermo Del Toro. The film stars Mia Wasikowska, Tom Hiddleston and Jessica Chastain in the lead roles with Charlie Hunnam and Jim Beaver as support.
The Entity is a supernatural horror drama that bears all the hallmarks of classic 1970s horror though it was ultimately released in 1982/1983. The best reference point for The Entity is probably The Exorcist for its viscerally serious exploration of its subject matter and also for its connection with a real-life incident.
The Sentinel is a 1977 supernatural horror drama based on the novel of the same name by Jeffrey Konvitz. Directed by Michael Winner, The Sentinel is about a young model (Cristina Raines) who moves into a historic Brooklyn brownstone that has been sectioned into apartments, only to find that the building is owned by the Catholic diocese and is a gateway to Hell.
Is The Exorcist the best horror movie ever made? Based on William Peter Blatty’s best-selling novel and directed by William Friedkin, the 1973 movie was a smash hit when it was first released and its significance and influence on the genre has not diminished in the years since.
The Changeling is a Canadian supernatural horror film directed by Peter Medak and starring George C. Scott, Trish Van Devere, and Melvyn Douglas. The film uses ghosts and haunted house tropes to deliver its psychological terrors. Released in 1980, The Changeling is imbued with classic 70s horror vibes where the scares are often in the mind of the viewer. (Spoilers follow)
After viewing The Haunting of Bly Manor on Netflix, a loose adaptation of Henry James’ Turn of the Screw and other short stories, it seemed appropriate to check out yet another Turn of the Screw adaptation – The Turning.
The Turning is an updating of James’ classic ghost story. Set in 1994, the premise is maintained, i.e. a young governess is hired to watch over two children after their parents’ deaths. Strange things ensue …
Same old story?
The cast of characters should be familiar to anyone who has read Turn of the Screw or seen its numerous adaptations. There is the unnamed governess (Kate Mandel, in this latest iteration – played by Mackensie Davis). She is of course the protagonist of the story as the plot is centred on her decisions and actions.
There are the two orphaned children, Flora (Brooklynn Prince) and Miles (Finn Wolfhard) and the housekeeper Mrs Grose (Barbara Marten). The previous governess Miss Jessel had mysteriously disappeared and there is also the deceased Mr Quint, a former employee.
In The Turning, Mandel is given a back story in the shape of her institutionalised mother. This provides a suggestion, nothing more, of mental illness within Mandel’s own psychological makeup.
Nothing new under the sun
Plot-wise, The Turning is faithful to Turn of the Screw up to a point. Miles returns to the family home after expulsion from boarding school but almost instantly takes a dislike to Mandel and terrorises her for the rest of the movie.
Apart from Miles’ bullying behaviour, Mandel encounters various strange events, which may either be supernatural or a product of Mandel’s disturbed imagination. Basically, she discovers that Miss Jessel may have been raped and drowned by Mr Quint but that is never confirmed as a fact. Mr Quint also terrorises Mandel but once again, it’s unclear whether any of what Mandel experienced is real or not.
Making a right mess of things
That’s the whole problem with The Turning. Everything is left up in the air. The narrative is ambiguous and it’s difficult for a viewer to make head or tail of it all. The final act is the worst of all as an entire sequence is revealed to be a vision of Mandel’s, experienced by her after she looked upon artwork sent by her mother.
Then, rather abruptly, Mandel is affronted by the children as she confronts them about the ghostly presence of Mr Quint before inexplicably being trapped in her own mind. Mandel finds herself at her mother’s institution and is terrified by something the audience is not privy to.
In the final analysis …
A senseless denouement which simply falls apart. Having done quick research, it does seem that originally the project had Steven Spielberg’s involvement. The famed director pulled his participation from the project due to dissatisfaction with its development.
Subsequently, a new director was hired and new script was written but apparently with Spielberg losing interest. The result is this unsatisfying mess. Avoid.
The Haunting of Bly Manor is a nine-part limited series on the Netflix streaming platform. The series is produced by the same creative team (headed by writer-director Mike Flanagan) that made the popular Haunting of Hill House. The two narratives are not connected whatsoever.