Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

August 31, 2018

The Little Stranger

Filed under: Counterpunch,Film — louisproyect @ 1:25 pm


Opening at theaters nationwide today, “The Little Stranger” is a most unusual blend of class politics and Stephen King-type horror set in a shabby manor house in England called The Hundreds just after the end of WWII. Once home to wealthy aristocrats of the Ayres clan, the 18th century estate now finds itself in the mid-20th century occupied by descendants who are aristocrats in name only. For reasons never detailed in the film, they are barely scraping by economically and the dilapidated house shows it.

The matron of the house, only referred to as Mrs. Ayres (Charlotte Rampling), lives there with her two grown children, Roderick (Will Poulter, who is referred to as Roddy except by those beneath him socially) and Caroline (Ruth Wilson), who tries to keep the sprawling house in decent shape—a hopeless task. Once served by a staff of over a dozen, the Ayres only have Betty to serve them now, a teenager from the nearby village that is so spooked by the British version of Count Dracula’s castle that she feigns illness just so that she can get away from The Hundreds for a week or so—and maybe even permanently. Betty, you see, is convinced that The Hundreds is haunted.

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  1. Thanks for the review. I’ve been looking forward to it since I saw the trailer a few months ago. Did you see the Korean adaptation of Sarah Waters’ “The Handmaiden”?

    Also, I have to be that guy: “Oh, especially in Warwickshire! Over the border, in Gloztershire [a made up name], they’re still feudal at heart.” Do you mean Gloucestershire? It’s pronounced Glostershire and it borders Warwickshire.

    Comment by Calvin — August 31, 2018 @ 5:30 pm

  2. It was spelled Gloztershire in the book with Glozter italicized. I am not sure why. Perhaps Roddy was trying to make a point that was lost on me.

    Comment by louisproyect — August 31, 2018 @ 7:53 pm

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