The Turning | Chicago Reader
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The Turning

“Have you gone mad?” a grizzled caretaker asks flustered tutor Kate (Mackenzie Davis) after a series of increasingly unhinged outbursts. Kate never answers, and neither does the movie, leaving it up to the audience to untangle the mysterious mess strewn out before them. For those not endeared to The Turning’s source material, Henry James’s novella The Turn of the Screw, it’s a big ask, and one most movie-goers will decline to oblige. It’s a shame given the movie has enough instant charm to pull viewers into its maze. Director Floria Sigismondi’s (The Runaways) second feature-length offering seems promising, from Davis and Brooklyn Prince’s (The Florida Project) naturally inviting performances to the uniquely reimagined 90s soundtrack juxtaposed against striking gothic imagery. Unfortunately, a bevy of offscreen characters that only serve to complicate an already meandering plot and a sorely muddled ending rob it of its full potential.

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