The Little Stranger

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You probably have to be receptive to a certain type of English brittleness to find the early stages of The Little Stranger anything but tedious, but it’s worth the effort. This is a slow-moving, afternoon-tea-and-marmalade kind of movie that slowly grows into something different. At first, it seems like just another episode of Masterpiece Theatre—a stiff-upper-lip story set in the waning years of the British Empire, a time when the trajectory of an obscenely rich family fading into poverty and disgrace would contain an actual sense of poignancy. Director Lenny Abrahamson (Room) has conjured a very effective mood, giving this story—based on a novel by The Paying Guests' Sarah Waters—the necessary hints of gothic horror. More significantly, though, Abrahamson keeps the supernatural elements just as restrained as these buttoned-up Brits. by Ned Lannamann
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Credits
Director
Lenny Abrahamson
Cast
Domhnall Gleeson, Charlotte Rampling, Ruth Wilson