One, Two, Three…

Ghost story flick written by Sergio Sanchez, directed by J.A. Bayona, exec produced by Guillermo del Toro.


Heard mixed reports — one friend hated it, the British broadsheet critics liked it a lot. I generally trust friends more than reviewers, but Fiona wasn’t going to let a ghost story with Del Toro’s fingerprints on it pass her by, so off we went.

Fiona really enjoyed this. I found it a little by-the-numbers. There’s a strong sense of “Now this is the set-up,” at the beginning. But it does pay off very very nicely at the end, the construction is genuinely clever and original. There are some real scares, including one which forced a Hugh Herbert-style cry of “Woo-woo!” from an audience member.

There’s a children’s game featured prominently in the action: one kid faces a wall, or tree, and chants “One two three knock on the door!” as the others creep up behind her. They have to freeze when she turns around, but she can only turn when she’s finished chanting. I think you can all see how effective that’s going to be in a ghost story…

For reasons unknown to me, the Scottish version of this game uses a different phrase, and a very evocative one. I bet the makers of THE ORPHANAGE would have loved to have access to it.

We say, “What’s the TIME, Mister Wolf?”


2 Responses to “One, Two, Three…”

  1. I found it very by-the numbers. And nowhere near as scary or imaginative as The Others (which contains La Kidman’s best performance to date.)

  2. The Others is a little derivative too — it steals shots directly from The Ghost and Mrs Muir and Bava’s Black Sabbath. But I don’t really mind, at least it steals from the best.

    The Orphanage doesn’t have so many clear sources of inspiration, more just a generic sewing pattern it’s following. But though I usually kind of hate that, here I thought it was well enough done to deserve a few points.

    My favourite Kidman is To Die For. Seems like she’s kind of playing herself…

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