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Seance on a Wet Afternoon

Where to Watch Seance on a Wet Afternoon

NR
1964

Seance on a Wet Afternoon from 1964 is a riveting British psychological crime drama that uses the classic noir elements within a domestic setting. Although often overlooked by many audiences, the movie is undeniably an enduring gem in the British film industry that boasts timeless performances, evocative mise-en-scène, and a daring plot that weaves crime, suspense, and supernatural elements. The film was directed by Bryan Forbes and is based on the novel by Mark McShane.

The movie focuses on Myra Savage, an outwardly ordinary housewife with a chilling secret. This enigmatic character comes to life through the astounding performance by Kim Stanley, an American actress. Stanley's portrayal of the complex and deeply disturbed Myra won her a BAFTA for Best British Actress, propelling her career to new heights. Myra is a self-proclaimed medium, which infuses the film with its paranormal undertones and perfectly complements the eerie ambience that engulfs the film. Her character's complexities are heightened by Stanley's performance that exudes a hauntingly convincing air of desperation masked by an unsettling calm demeanor.

Richard Attenborough, known for both his acting and directing skills, does not disappoint in his role of Billy Savage, Myra's submissive and weak-willed husband. Attenborough famously captures the meek and susceptible personality of Billy, who becomes an accomplice to his wife's disturbing plan. His nuanced performance enriches the underlying tension permeating every scene and draws the viewer’s attention to the darker undercurrents of a seemingly ordinary couple's life.

Myra and Billy's relationship is highlighted by the clever use of space within their home—an oppressive, dark, and oversized house filled with antiques, casting a gloomy ambience that serves as an apt reflection of their twisted, gloom-ridden relationship. Frames filled with paranoia, eerie suspense, and unexplainable occurrences elevate this crime drama into a psychological exploration of troubled minds. It is within these similarly foreboding domestic confines that they engineer a horrendous crime scheme, a kidnap plot designed to catapult Myra into the public eye and bolster her credibility as a spiritual medium.

Kicking things up a notch is the movie's supporting cast, which includes Margaret Lacey, who delivers a stunning performance as Mrs. Clayton, mother of the kidnapped child. Her heart-wrenching portrayal of a grieving mother caught in a sinister game of truth and deceit is a testament to her acting prowess. Amid the chaos, Lacey emerges as an embodiment of hope and resilience, adding another layer of complexity to the film's narrative.

Seance on a Wet Afternoon, with its haunting atmosphere and thought-provoking storyline, combines elements of drama, crime, and the supernatural into an unforgettable cinematic experience. Its unforgettable plot is not merely for suspense, but also serves as a commentary on the human condition, particularly regarding the extent of human desperation, corruption, and the complexities of relationships. It reflects on the perverse desire for validation and public attention, aberrant loyalty, and the potentially destructive force of self-delusion.

Forbes's direction is noteworthy, as he masterfully executes the film in an unwavering, disciplined manner. The controlled direction supports the chilling yet realistically plausible plot. The backdrop of London's suburbs during a hard, incessant rain adds to the gloomy atmosphere, hence the title, 'Seance on a Wet Afternoon'. The cinematography ends up doing more than just capturing the plot—it encapsulates the spirit of the 60's British suburban life and the emotional states of its characters, lending a genuine essence to the film.

Richard Rodney Bennett's hauntingly beautiful score complements the on-screen suspense and drama, enhancing the overall experience of the movie. His symphonic arrangements enmeshes perfectly with the storyline, creating gripping moments of trepidation.

Seance on a Wet Afternoon is a must-watch for all crime-drama aficionados. It's an enduring piece of cinema that plunges the audience into an unforgettable exploration of a couple's doomed attempt to turn their failures into successes using unorthodox and ethically repugnant methods. The film is an exploration of character, emotion, and the timeless human struggle for acceptance. It shamelessly reveals the ugly underbelly of an ordinary life, turning an unassuming British suburb into a breeding ground for crime and supernatural influence. It is a classic example of a psychological thriller done right and is sure to keep you on the edge of your seat.

Seance on a Wet Afternoon is a Crime, Thriller, Drama movie released in 1964. It has a runtime of 115 min.. Critics and viewers have rated it moderate reviews, with an IMDb score of 7.6..

How to Watch Seance on a Wet Afternoon

Where can I stream Seance on a Wet Afternoon movie online? Seance on a Wet Afternoon is available to watch and stream at Amazon Prime, Max.

7.6/10
Director
Bryan Forbes
Stars
Kim Stanley, Richard Attenborough, Margaret Lacey
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