Sunday, June 10, 2012

Whistle and I'll Come for You (1968)

Michael Hordern stars a very rational man who comes to an isloated hotel. While walking near the beach he finds a whistle, and in blowing it invites some straange things to happen.

Made for the BBC series Omnibus, this version of the oft filmed MR James story (recently made with John Hurt in the lead) is best watched with the lights out. Its a slowly building tale that has some really creepy moments in the later half as we see the strange ghosts that are haunting our hero. Its the sort of thing that had me muttering "that's not right" a couple of times.

Running a scant 42 minutes the film is very deliberately paced by director Jonathan Miller. Many scenes seem to transpire in real time. There is a lack of background music which adds to the liesurely pace. Its so liesurely that one might be tempted to turn it off or fast forward, but don't let it happen since Miller is simply putting us into a mind set where the strange things to come will genuinely frighten us.

Miller most famous as being one of the minds behind Beyond the Fringe and for bringing all of Shakespeares plays to the BBC, seems to be an odd choice for a film like this, but in actuality he's not. Miller had done some interesting films after Fringe and before the Bard that confuse anyone expecting him to be funny or to do something similar to his stayed Shakespeare adaptions (for give me I dislike his take on Shakespeare, having suffered through a stage adaption of King Lear with Christopher Plummer that he inflicted on New York Audiences).

I like this film.

Its an old school ghost story that will manage to give you a chill or two.

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