As a film critic, you sense the change of seasons before you actually feel the change in temperature.
A month ago, in the middle of the summer, I was writing one or two reviews a week, at least one of them a big blockbuster. Now I’m juggling five or six reviews a week, mostly of independent films, as the fall season gets underway. Believe me, I am not complaining.
It killed me to learn that Henry James’ original “The Turn of the Screw” had been published around Christmastime, because ghost stories at Christmas are something of a British tradition. “A Christmas Carol” notwithstanding, “Screw,” and its elegant and disturbing 1961 British film, doesn’t feel at all like the sort of thing you’d snuggle in with on Christmas Eve. It’s even a little too dark for Halloween, with its moral and supernatural ambiguity suffusing every frame. It is, as historian Christopher Frayling puts it on one of the extras on the new Criterion Collection edition of “The Innocents,” one of cinema’s great ghost stories adapted from one of literature’s great ghost stories.