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The Little Stranger

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Ireland, United Kingdom, France · 2018
Rated R · 1h 51m
Director Lenny Abrahamson
Starring Domhnall Gleeson, Ruth Wilson, Will Poulter, Charlotte Rampling
Genre Mystery, Drama, Horror, Fantasy

In a dusty post-world war ii summer in rural Warwickshire, a doctor is called to a patient at a dilapidated house called Hundreds Hall. Home to the Ayres family for over two centuries, the Georgian house is now in decline. As the doctor spends more and more time at the house, he notices a disturbing pattern of events...

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What are critics saying?


The New York Times by A.O. Scott

The twisting and cracking of the British class system is always fascinating to observe, and The Little Stranger traces the details of its chosen moment of social change with precision and subtlety, and with its own layers of somewhat dubious nostalgia.


Washington Post by Alan Zilberman

As a director, Abrahamson uses that sense of the detached observer as a scalpel, whittling away at our expectations of horror films until we have no choice but to look at — and really listen to — what is happening. It’s an approach that requires patience, on his part and ours, but the rewards are worth it.


Vox by Alissa Wilkinson

It’s a slow-burn horror film, one that has all the sudden scares and moments of pristine fear present in any good movie of its ilk. But in the hands of Lenny Abrahamson (Room), The Little Stranger is elevated by measured pacing that also makes the larger house-based metaphor clear — and the result is both elegiac and frightening.


Village Voice by Bilge Ebiri

Like many gothic tales, The Little Stranger hangs tantalizingly between genres: It has elements of haunted house thriller, of doomed romance, of psychological thriller, of historical allegory.


Arizona Republic by Bill Goodykoontz

Gleeson is terrific as Faraday struggles — with his feelings for Caroline, with her feelings for him, with the notion that some of what’s going on at Hundreds Hall may not have a rational explanation. The evolution of his character is subtle, but hauntingly effective.


IndieWire by Eric Kohn

Abrahamson seems so coy about the haunting of the Ayres’ house that he refuses to allow the movie’s strongest aspect to take center stage, and the perils of The Little Stranger hover aimlessly throughout the movie like a specter in search of some elusive white light.


The Associated Press by Lindsey Bahr

All in all, it’s just a little underdeveloped. Perhaps in novel form its polite pace and subtle revelations made a certain amount of sense, but the movie is lacking.


The Seattle Times by Moira Macdonald

The Little Stranger is a haunted-house movie, but not one with cheap scares. In fact there are few scares at all — it’s mostly just an atmosphere of lingering, musty dread — and horror-movie fans should be warned that it’s all quite subtle. But it’s haunting, in its quiet way.


The Guardian by Peter Bradshaw

The Little Stranger is fluently made and really well acted, particularly by Ruth Wilson, though maybe a bit too constrained by period-movie prestige to be properly scary.

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