Sunday, 17 January 2021

A Warning to the Curious

Originally published in 1925 as part of the collection of stories that bears it's name M.R. James' 'A Warning to the Curious' was the second adaptation made by director and screenwriter Lawrence Gordon Clark for the BBC's annual Ghost Story for Christmas strand.

Updating the story to the depression era 1930s Clark has newly unemployed clerk and  amateur archeologist Paxton (Peter Vaughan) arriving in the town of 'Seaburgh' on the Anglian coast in search of the the last remaining lost crowns of Anglia, buried in ye olde days and reputed to protect the county from invasion.  In the inn there he meets Dr Black (Clive Swift) - who had also appeared in the previous years apatation 'The Stalls of Barchester' - and the typical variety of local yokels that usually populate these sort of things.  He also keeps catching glimpses of a mysterious figure following and watching him from afar.

It's a wonderfully bleak affair with some nicely low key performances particularly from Vaughan and some fantastically intense sound work full of shrill tones and ominous drones along with Clark skillfull direction maintains a perpetual air of menace and certain doom that hangs over Paxton from the moment he arrives.

Buy it here - UK / US - or watch it below.




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