Richard Loncraine’s almost forgotten ghost story features Mia Farrow as Julia Lofting, a young mother grieving the loss of her eight-year-old daughter who moves to London to restart her life and finds herself stalked by the ghost of another child, a vicious little brat who led a gang of 1930s children in the brutal murder of a young German boy.
The film was the first of a series of Anglo-Canadian co-productions (hence the always-welcome presence of Keir Dullea, a regular in Canadian films of the time, as Julia’s estranged husband).
It all takes a while to get going but culminates in an unexpectedly moving finale that does indeed bring the story full circle.
A decade on from Rosemary’s Baby (1968), Farrow is still struggling with an unearthly child, heading a top-notch cast that also features Tom Conti, Cathleen Nesbitt, Peter Sallis and a young Sophie Ward in her film debut as Julia’s ill-fated daughter.
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