Welcome to Spooky Sunday, a new feature on Bookish Outsider that will run until Halloween! This week I've been watching Blackwood, starring Sophia Myles (Doctor Who - The Girl In The Fireplace) and Ed Stoppard (Brideshead Revisited).
Having recovered from a breakdown, college professor Ben Marshall relocates to the countryside with his wife and young son, hoping for a fresh start. He has a teaching job lined up and a new home to move into; things finally look to be going Ben's way. Until, that is, he starts to feel that something isn't quite right in the house. Finding himself plagued by spectral visions, Ben becomes obsessed with uncovering the truth behind a local mystery that appears to be putting the lives of his family in danger.
The house they move into formerly belonged to an artist, now a resident of a nursing home and virtually catatonic, who has left behind most of her belongings including a suitably creepy painting in the room Ben sets up as his study. Throw in a peculiar fox mask, a supposedly disturbed ex-soldier (excellently played by Russell Tovey), a weird priest (Paul Kaye) and a broken clock chiming in the middle of the night and you have a spine-chilling movie, guaranteed to spook you if you watch by yourself late at night. Solid performances from Kaye, Tovey, Stoppard and Greg Wise as a philandering scientist make Blackwood appear better than maybe it is along with a sense that just around the corner is something truly scary. It never quite lives up to its promise though. Watching Ben unravel, wondering if Blackwood is really haunted or if indeed he is slowly losing his mind, is mesmerizing but not enough.
A good movie, worth a watch, but never quite gets there in terms of scaring you!
This has been an R.I.P. X production.