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We Have Always Lived in the Castle

Stacie Passon‘s adaptation of the eponymous Shirley Jackson novella looks like a colorful Young Adult novel adaptation at first glance, but the abysses soon open up more and more.

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Stacie Passon‘s adaptation of the eponymous Shirley Jackson novella looks like a colorful Young Adult novel adaptation at first glance: a teenager is at its center, 18-year-old Merricat, whose short pants, big, mistrustful eyes, and tight braids could let her pass for 12 years old. The colors of the film are loud, the green of the plants is more poisonous than usual, and the rooms of the old villa where Merricat lives with her older sister Constance and her uncle Julian, are painted in deep, complementary tones. Soon we discover that the playfully colorful world is filled with darkness. Constance looks like she‘s expecting guests or going to a country outing with her flower dresses and crimped hair, but she hasn‘t left the house in years. Uncle Julian keeps writing about the terrible night when Merricat and Constance‘s parents died of poisoning and he barely survived. The people in the village are certain that Constance poisoned her family. When Merricat, who is the only one who ever leaves the house, enters the hostile outside world, she buries objects in the garden to keep evil away. When she forgets to do it one day, a cousin comes to visit and makes his home in the estate. The increasingly dark layers of the psychodrama are mostly revealed by text: the unreliable voice over of Merricat, the delusional statements by the uncle, the accusations of the villagers. In the dubbed version WE HAVE ALWAYS LIVED IN THE CASTLE sometimes felt like a picture book where the text and image run separate from each other. We recommend you to watch it in the original version.

Toni Ohms (INDIEKINO MAGAZIN)

Translation: Elinor Lewy

Credits

Original title: We Have Always Lived in the Castle
USA 2018, 90 min
Genre: Drama, Familientragödie, Gruselfilm
Director: Stacie Passon
Author: Mark Kruger
DOP: Piers McGrail
Montage: Ryan Denmark
Distributor: Kinostar
Cast: Taissa Farmiga, Alexandra Daddario, Crispin Glover, Sebastian Stan
Release: 03.10.2019

Website

Screenings

Screenings

  • OV Original version
  • OmU Original with German subtitles
  • OmeU Original with English subtitles
English/with English subtitles
All languages

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