The Canterville Ghost

2023

Action / Animation / Comedy

20
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Rotten 57% · 14 reviews
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 52%
IMDb Rating 6.2/10 10 1143 1.1K

Director

Top cast

Hugh Laurie as Mephisto Monster / Old Duke
Freddie Highmore as Henry Duke of Cheshire
Toby Jones as The Reverend Chasuble aka The Vicar
Imelda Staunton as Mrs. Umney
720p.WEB 1080p.WEB 1080p.WEB.x265
814.61 MB
1280*694
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 28 min
Seeds 87
1.63 GB
1920*1040
English 5.1
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 28 min
Seeds 100+
1.48 GB
1920*1040
English 5.1
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 28 min
Seeds 41

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by JamesHitchcock 6 / 10

I doubt if it would be possible to make a faithful adaptation of Wilde's story today

Oscar Wilde's "The Canterville Ghost", is, in part, a humorous parody of the classical ghost story. An American family buy an English stately home, Canterville Chase, despite being warned by its owner Lord Canterville that it is haunted by the ghost of his sixteenth century ancestor Sir Simon de Canterville, Sir Simon murdered his wife and has been condemned to haunt the house as a punishment ever since. The family scoff at the idea of ghosts, but even when they discover that the ghostly Sir Simon is indeed real, they treat him with a complete lack of respect. The story is, partly, a satire on the differences in manners between progressive, go-ahead Americans and traditionally-minded Britons, represented by the ghost. Ghosts are supposed to be frightening, and Sir Simon is therefore deeply offended by a family who, in a shocking breach with tradition, refuse to be frightened by him. Unlike most ghost stories, however, this one has a happy, and more serious, ending in which Sir Simon finds both eternal rest and forgiveness for his sins though the intercession of the family's saintly daughter Virginia.

The story has been adapted for the cinema or television screen on a number of occasions, but this recent British animated version is the only one I have ever seen, apart from a West German film I saw on German television many years ago. It is not entirely faithful to Wilde's story, but I wonder if it would be possible to make a completely faithful adaptation today.

In Wilde's story the American paterfamilias Hiram Otis was a diplomat and the father or four children; here he is an eccentric inventor and the father of three, daughter Virginia, aged around twenty, and twin sons Kent and Louis, probably in their early teens. Virginia's elder brother Washington is omitted. Virginia has a very different personality; in the original she was quiet and shy, but here she is outgoing with a rebellious attitude and such a tomboy that she wears riding breeches all the time, even when she is not riding. (She even wears them to her wedding!) Her boyfriend, Henry Duke of Cheshire, plays a larger role than he did in the story (where his Christian name was Cecil rather than Henry) and is portrayed as a nice-but-dim chinless wonder rather than Wilde's golden youth.

The biggest change, however, concerns the ghost. As portrayed here, Sir Simon is stuffy and pompous, and does not much care for what he sees as the vulgar manners of the Americans, but he is not evil. Most importantly, he did not kill his wife in this version. Indeed, he loved her dearly, and was heartbroken when she died in what he believed was a drowning accident. (It turns out that this "accident" was arranged by Henry's ancestor, an earlier Duke of Cheshire, who then framed Simon for the supposed murder so he could seize the estate). There is also a sinister gardener, not found in Wilde's story, who turns out to be Death himself.

When I watched the film I was not too happy with these changes, because they seemed to be missing the point of what Wilde was trying to do, and they didn't always make a lot of sense. It is never explained why, if Simon was not guilty of murder, why he was still condemned to haunt the house. Nevertheless, I I could understand why the changes were made. For all the humour of its opening scenes, "The Canterville Ghost" is essentially a story of Christian redemption, and in 2023 that probably wouldn't have been a popular theme for a film. In the original story Virginia is a rather quiet, demure girl; far more interesting to make her the feisty rebel she is here.

More importantly, you couldn't make a film with a wife-murderer as one of the main characters unless you made him an irredeemable villain. In Christian doctrine no crime, even murder, is unforgivable, and no sinner irredeemable, but the average cinema-goer may well demur at this piece of theology. So Simon had to be not guilty.

Some reviewers have criticised the quality of the animation, but I am probably not the best judge, as animated films only form a small part of my viewing and I don't have too many models against which to judge it. I only watched this one because I was already familiar with the story. It will never be a favourite of mine, but it will probably make acceptable family viewing. 6/10

Some goofs. The action is supposed to be taking place in the year 1900, but we see an aeroplane, something not invented until 1903. The design of the Otises' car and some of the women's fashions would also suggest a date closer to 1910. According to Simon's tombstone he lived in the seventeenth century in this version of the story, but he still wears sixteenth century clothes.

Reviewed by / 10

Reviewed by perkinsuab 4 / 10

Awful animation not worthy of a 5

The animation evokes the aesthetics of early 2000s video games, but not in a way that adds nostalgic value. Rather, it appears as if constrained by the same limitations that plagued those older games-resulting in choppy and disjointed visuals. A reviewer's perfect 10 out of 10 score for the film raises further concerns. This suspicion is heightened by the fact that the review was published a month before the film's official release. Such an anomalously high rating strongly suggests a self-serving agenda, likely from someone affiliated with the production team. Despite a compelling story, the film ultimately fails to deliver a visual experience that matches the quality of its narrative.

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