The Canterville Ghost (1996) Review
My Bloody Reviews Verdict 5

The Canterville Ghost (1996) Review Fearing a life of boredom when her family relocates from America to a sprawling English stately home, teenager Ginny Otis (Campbell) is in for quite a surprise. Strange goings-on are soon explained when she encounters the ghost of Sir Simon de Canterville (Stewart), who can only be seen by Ginny ..

Summary Rating: 5.0 from 10 5.0 normal

The Canterville Ghost (1996) Review

The Canterville Ghost (1996) Review

Fearing a life of boredom when her family relocates from America to a sprawling English stately home, teenager Ginny Otis (Campbell) is in for quite a surprise. Strange goings-on are soon explained when she encounters the ghost of Sir Simon de Canterville (Stewart), who can only be seen by Ginny and her brothers. An understandably grouchy ghost at first, Ginny learns his sorrowful tale and vows to help him lift the curse that will keep him haunting the corridors of Canterville Hall forever.

TV entertainment in the mid-Nineties was a world away from the franchise-driven offerings that make up the majority of our gogglebox landscape now – Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead spring immediately to mind – and whilst I accept that The Canterville Ghost was intended as a one-off it has a freshness and innocence that today’s high-definition offerings lack and that may sway folks from parting with their hard-earned cash to purchase this.

Adapted from an 1887 novella of the same name The Canterville Ghost has previously been serialised for a magazine and adapted for a small number of film and made-for-TV movies. On the evidence presented here I cannot imagine why. It’s OK but hardly sparkling but given the awards won by The Canterville Ghost perhaps it’s just me, either that or there wasn’t a lot in the way of competition that year.

Director Sydney Macartney, known mainly for his work on TV’s Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, wanted to inject this adaptation with a little more zest but the producers were reluctant to for him to do so. I think they were wrong to be reluctant and perhaps they should have also played up some mild scares along the way too, it certainly offered scope for some. The main thrust of the story is the tension between the family’s eldest child Virginia ‘Ginny’ Otis (Neve Campbell) and her father who blames her constantly for the ghostly happenings. It becomes rather infuriating and repetitive and you scream out for something less wearing to happen instead.

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