4 / 5 Mar '10
Directed by: Jonathan Miller
Written by: M.R. James, Jonathan Miller
Actors include: Michael Hordern, Ambrose Coghill, George Woodbridge
Length: 42 minutes
Considering this has one of the most irritating characters on earth in it (Professor Parkins), it's surprisingly refreshing. It's based upon an old ghost story from M.R. James and it's supposedly his darkest (according to our narrator). I actually came across it on some list of the scariest moments in film and television and well I can kinda see why it made their list. Professor Parkins is a stuffy smug irritating fellow who mumbles to himself and only believes what is in his books. The subject of ghosts comes up in a conversation and he explained that he cannot believe in that sort of thing the way one would believe in say Australia. Professor Parkins loves his walks around the seaside and one day he stumbles upon an old whistle that he blows. From there everything he knows is turned on it's head as he meets something he never expected. It's a short story coming in at under 45 minutes and it's an effective one, it's just a shame we have to put up with that irritating fools mumbling for much of the film. Still definitely worth it, beautiful cinematography (the shots on the seaside are lovely) and a good story.
Availability: On DVD