Though I’m pretty sure you don’t darken BrocanteHome’s door in search of horror film recommendations, today, in honour of Halloween, I am giving you just that, because though I am secretly something of a horror aficionado, it’s not often I happen across something that is both interesting, ethereal and oh so scrumptiously stylised it is a feast for vintage eyes and a ghost story told in the most traditional sense of the word, rather than the jumpfest haunted house films I usually favour.
In all honesty its kind of daft. And beautiful. At times it is almost feels like a documentary rather charmingly knocked up by a sixth form film class, but it is an enthralling story told with such expertly rendered naivety that it ends up fashioning itself as something of a spooky (but never terrifying) work of art, blessed by the talents of Reece Shearsmith (of Inside No.9 fame), Jonathan Rigby and Julian Sands.
Borley Rectory is considered one of the most haunted houses in Britain and though much doubt is cast on its mysteries ( no spoilers here I promise!), the story that fuels this film and the others that have been made about this terrifying old house, is fascinating from both a human point of view and in terms of the kind of ghostly folklore so often shared around a cosy fire on a stormy night.
We watched it as a family and while I think Stevie was a little bewildered at the start, and Finley couldn’t watch it for talking about the way it is filmed (he is a creative media student), once we had all adapted to the way this animated story is told in all its scary, cinematic cliched glory, (and rather darling vintage -style asides) we were all totally enthralled and declared ourselves delighted when it was over, because there is simply something rather magical about it: if only because it totally subverts what it is supposed to be and simultaneously ask us, the viewer, to question one of our most enduring haunted house stories, while desperately wanting us to believe in what we are seeing.
All in all, it is just right for a Brocante Halloween. Perfect entertainment once apples are ducked, faces are dried, little people are tucked up in bed and grown-up candles are lit.