Film Review: When Will These Nannies Ever Learn?


The Turning is a horror film directed by Floria Sigismondi.  It is written by Carey and Chad Hayes who adapted it from a ghost story written 1898 by Henry James.  Mackenzie Davis, Finn Wolfhard, Brooklynn Prince, and Joely Richardson are included in the cast.

Davis plays a former teacher who accepts a position as a live-in tutor and nanny for a couple of orphans in a large mansion.  She also has to contend with a rather and rigid housekeeper who is also a guardian of the rather strange and reclusive children.  Of course, there are secrets and strange manifestations to make the job more interesting.

My usual problem with horror films of this sort is often a breakdown when it comes to explanations and resolutions toward the end.  CGI and much improved visual effects in the film industry do make it likely that the scares will be fairly effective and raise some  goosebumps regardless of the quality of the script.  This film does have some of those effective moments of genuine spooks and scares.  The performances were reasonably good considering the many weaknesses in the actual plot and dialogue.

The design of the house and property where all of these ghostly shenanigans occurred was intriguing.

The story just didn’t seem all that well thought out.  There was this roommate that seemed rather unnecessary.  I wasn’t sure how some crazy mother played by Joely Richardson fit into all of this.  This film was just determined to make me work harder than I wanted to when it came piecing together background of these poltergeists and whatever evil events transpired before the heroine’s arrival.  Whatever may have started to impress me about this film was undercut by a weak resolution.

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