DIRECTOR: CHARLIE STEEDS / SCREENPLAY: CHARLIE STEEDS / STARRING: DAVID LENIK, TESSA WOOD, BARRINGTON DE LA ROCHE, EMMA SPURGIN HUSSEY, RORY WILTON / RELEASE DATE: APRIL 10TH (US), APRIL 27TH (UK)
A young man and his mother move into his grandfather's mansion to care for him after the nurse leaves under mysterious circumstances in Charlie Steeds' terrific haunted house tale, An English Haunting.
As far as ghostly haunted house movies go, the set up is simple - character moves into the house to care for relative or has been left said house by a deceased relative, strange things begin to occur before the true evil of the house is revealed. However, what sets this particular film apart from its peers is a stunningly eerie and beautiful location which is used to the fullest potential and some expert direction by Steeds allowing the viewers to truly grasp the scope of the world within the confines of the walls and grounds.
The score is equally as chilling as the phenomenal presentation. From violin led pieces to suitably unearthly ambience, everything involved makes it incredibly effective - ever single frame oozes atmosphere and British flair.
At the centrepiece of this affair is David Lenik's brilliant performance as Blake Cunningham, who is the lead character thrust into the haunted house by his scheming mother who has more than caring for her father on her mind.
Lenik's shy at first yet ultimately fiery portrayal of Blake shows off his character's relationship strain with his mother throughout the film to devastatingly power effect that allows him and the rest of the film to pace along nicely. This all adds to the fact that it manages to successfully paper over the cracks of re-treading other ghost stories and creates an incredibly well made, British based film that shows that independent filmmaking is one of the most important things in the crazy world of filmmaking.
From a gorgeous setting that exudes character to a brilliant central performance, all accompanied by a sensational score, An English Haunting is another stellar addition to Charlie Steeds' catalogue of films and once again proves that real talent doesn't always come from Hollywood.