Taglines: You will believe…
Professor David Ash is invited to Edbrook to calm the fears of the elderly nanny of the Mariell family. Nanny Tess is seeing things, and Ash’s book debunking such phenomenon makes him a good choice to set her mind at ease and convince her she is just tired and stressed. But soon after arriving David too begins to doubt his senses, and watching the odd behavior of the three grown Mariell children doesn’t make his task any easier. In fact, he begins to think Nanny Tess isn’t really just tired and stressed out after all.
Haunted is a 1995 horror film, by veteran director Lewis Gilbert and starring Aidan Quinn, Kate Beckinsale, Anthony Andrews, John Gielgud, Anna Massey, Geraldine Somerville, Linda Bassett, Liz Smith, Hilary Mason and Victoria Shalet. It is based on a novel of the same name by James Herbert. The film was produced by Andrews and Gilbert.
About the Story
In 1928 England, David Ash (Aidan Quinn), an American professor, has spent a majority of his life working in the field of parapsychology to disprove the existence of ghosts. He was motivated by the untimely death of his twin sister, Juliet, for which he blames himself. As a professor at Oxford, he receives a series of urgent entreaties from a Ms. Webb, who claims she is being tormented by ghosts, to come and help her.
David travels to Sussex, where he is picked up at the train station by the beautiful Christina Mariell (Kate Beckinsale). Christina explains that Ms. Webb is in fact their Nanny Tess (Anna Massey), and that she wrote to David at the urging of the Mariell siblings, Christina, Robert and Simon. The siblings are concerned for her mental health and believe her belief in ghosts is due to her senility. She drives David to the palatial Edbrook House, where he meets Christina’s two brothers and the withdrawn Nanny Tess.
David begins to perform forensic examinations of the house, trying to detect evidence of paranormal activity. Complicating the investigation is Christina’s continuous flirtation with David, and his own infatuation with her. However, older brother Robert (Anthony Andrews) is adamantly against their friendship and the two have a suspiciously close relationship. David himself begins having paranormal experiences. Christina, who had originally told David both her parents died in India, admits that in fact her mother drowned herself in the lake and Nanny Tess was the one who discovered the body. David postulates that it is the trauma of this which is causing Nanny Tess to see the ghost of Mrs. Mariell.
When David decides to finally leave Edbrook, he asks Christina to come away with him. Although she refuses, they engage in a passionate kiss and end up in making love in her bed. In the morning when David wakes, the wind is gusting through the house, which is now cloaked in black drapes and littered with fallen leaves. He searches for Christina but instead sees the ghost of his twin sister Juliet, who leads David to a cemetery. Juliet calls his attention to a specific tombstone which states that Robert, Christina and Simon Mariell all died in a fire at Edbrook House in 1923.
Directed by: Lewis Gilbert
Starring: Aidan Quinn, Kate Beckinsale, Anthony Andrews, John Gielgud, Anna Massey, Geraldine Somerville, Linda Bassett, Liz Smith, Hilary Mason, Victoria Shalet
Screenplay by: Lewis Gilbert, Bob Kellett, Timothy Prager
Production Design by: Brian Ackland-Snow, John Fenner
Cinematography by: Tony Pierce-Roberts
Film Editing by: John Jympson
Costume Design by: Candy Paterson, Jane Robinson
Set Decoration by: Peter James
Art Direction by: Gary Tomkins
Music by: Debbie Wiseman
MPAA Rating: R for sexuality and nudity.
Distributed by: October Films
Release Date: June 18, 1996