The Canterville Ghost - Film Review

The Canterville Ghost - Film Review

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Posted 2024-01-09 by Jenfollow
Images © Align, Melmoth Films, Space Age Films et al

The Canterville Ghost aka Sir Simon de Canterville has been haunting the grounds of his country estate successfully for more than 300 years, driving all who enter, insane. However, when a modern-day American family moves in, he soon meets his match, and scaring them off is not going to be easy. Look forward to Oscar Wilde's classic short story brought to life in an animated adaptation on 11 January 2024 - when it'll be in cinemas.

Directed by Kim Burdon and Robert Chandler, there are some big-name stars lending their voices to this 88 minute PG rated animation like, Stephen Fry as the ghost - Sir Simon de Canterville, Imelda Staunton as Mrs Umney the housekeeper, Freddie Highmore as The Duke of Cheshire, Hugh Laurie as The Grim Reaper, Emily Carey as Virginia Otis, David Harewood as Hiram Otis, Meera Syal as Lucretia Otis, Bennett Miller as Kent Otism, Jakey Schiff as Louis Otis, Toby Jones as The Reverend Chasuble, Miranda Hart as The Ghost Catcher Algernean Van Finchley, Georgia Small as Marjorie Fairfax, Giles New as The Colonel, Chris Wilson as the Juror, Keiron Self as Professor Borsakov, Bill Lobley as Lord Monroe, Lynn Seymore as Mrs Borsakov, and Elizabeth Sankey as Eleanor de Cantervill, .


Hiram Otis and his wife Lucretia, along with their children Virginia, and twins Kent and Louis leave America to arrive at the English manor they snagged for a bargain - Canterville Chase, to expand his electric lightbulb business. Lucretia looks forward to mixing amongst England's nobility and the twins find adventure wherever they go. Unfortunately, their daughter Virginia shares none of the enthusiasm of moving to England and just wants to go home. Unafraid when she meets 'the ghost' she dares him to do his best/worst, so the family will flee and to her delight, return to America. Unfortunately for Sir Simon, this family is completely unafraid of this 300-year-old apparition cursed to roam Canterville Chase for eternity, and instead nearly traumatise him with their antics. To top it off, the reverend's wife who is a ghost hunter, drags her husband over to the manor to meet the newcomers, and for the opportunity to snoop around the manor and sniff out the ghost.


At the heart of the story, you detect a love story deep within. Sir Simon has got a bad wrap for murdering his beloved Eleanor, the love of his life, and cursed to haunt Canterville Chase for an eternity. Doomed, alone, and lonely he's there to stay until a prophecy is fulfilled. There's a lot to love about this animation. There's depth, heart, shenanigans, and humour afoot. There's even a 'ghostbuster-ish' moment in the form of the reverend's ghost chasing wife, complete with a strap-on proton pack. The animations are gorgeous to behold and visually appealing; the manor, the grounds, the expressions, the colours, all beautifully executed in great detail. The colour palette reflects the seasons through which the story travels; zesty greens of Spring, warm golden hues of Summer, russet tones for Autumn and bright whites and pale blues for Winter. All of this contrasts with the creaky colours of the Canterville Chase interiors that feels more solid like an old manor should. This is one film not just the kids, but one the adults won't mind sitting through for its nostalgic appeal. A magical story about a family invading the space and life of a grand old house whose occupant just happens to be a ghost. It's a classic story with a huge heart; a magical story of a young woman who saves a 300 year old man and a 300 year old man who saves a young woman, each transformed by the other.



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274616 - 2024-01-07 16:13:28

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