Review of The Turning (2020)


Carolina Gonzalez

What could have been an incredible twist on a classic horror cliché turned out to be a disappointing and confusing story in the Floria Sigismondi film, The Turning. The film follows a young teacher, Kate (Mackenzie Davis) as she is called to begin working as a private instructor for Nora (Brooklyn Prince), an orphan child raised amongst her deceased parents’ wealth. Just days into her stay in the family mansion, Kate begins to suspect that something horrible may have happened in the house, prior to her arrival. She quickly begins seeing an entity who she believes to be the family’s prior horse riding instructor, Quint, who had died months before. The film then unravels into a stressful and, frankly, embarrassing mess as just when one thinks they have reached the end of the film a huge twist occurs, adding on an extra 15 unnecessary minutes to the film. 

 With amazing young actors like Finn Wolfhard and Brooklyn Prince, it was almost expected that the film would live up to their great talent. However, that was not the case. The film felt unfinished with bare minimum effort put into creating a twist that was both shocking and appealing. Sadly, the shock felt by the audience wasn’t one that any of them wished for. The twist weakened the already weak storyline and carelessly introduced an entirely different plot, way too late into the film. Not only that, but it also forced the movie to rely on the incredibly tiring horror cliché, depicting people with mental illness as demon-like entities. 

Not only is the cliché incredibly overused, but it also reinforces harmful stigmas surrounding what mental illness looks like. 

Regardless of the films ending, the movie felt incredibly lost with no sense of logical creative direction. If anything, it felt like a combination of all other below-average horror movies, but with random, horribly-directed points of assault and mental illness to make it “different”. It was truly as disappointing as a horror movie can get.

Rating: 11/100