Whilst Christopher Smith’s last full-fledged horror film is arguably his 2010 period piece, Black Death, he’s been readying a number of horror projects over the best part of the last decade, with the first of these set to release this Friday.
Very loosely based on the events surrounding Borley Rectory (purportedly the most haunted house in England), Smith’s THE BANISHING expertly delivers a handsomely mounted period mystery, transporting audiences back to the 1930s, when a young reverend (John Heffernan), his wife (Brown Findlay) and daughter (Anya McKenna-Bruce) move into a mansion that holds a terrifying secret.
Not long after they arrive, strange events start to occur and it soon becomes clear that a malicious entity seeks to possess Adelaide and that the Church is hiding a terrible secret… As the menacing spirit grows stronger, Linus and Marianne have to confront their beliefs and enlist the help of a famous Occultist, Harry Reed (Sean Harris).
Ahead of this Friday’s UK release – followed by an international release on Shudder in April – SCREAM caught up with Smith who explained how the initial script piqued his interest as he saw it as the ideal opportunity to push the idea of the gathering storms of war and use the story’s rich characters to channel a haunted house story unlike any other.
Words: Howard Gorman