The Innocents directed by Jack Clayton (1961). It is a psychic thriller where Miss Giddens (Deborah Kerr) is asked to be a Governess at “The Uncles” (Michael Redgrave) country manor, where he has a nephew Miles (Martin Stephens) and a niece Flora (Pamela Franklin) staying there. But little does Miss Giddens know about the history and the previous Governor and Governess.
The Innocents carries a very eerie and disturbing theme throughout the film, where by not all is what it seems, miles gets back from school and seems to be fine and happy. But he has been in fact expelled from his school and doesn’t want to talk about it. Another way in which the film holds the very uneasy feeling is that the two children Miles and Flora know more than they should, they act like adults this makes the audience unsettled by implementing the super natural through Miles and Flora.
Clayton uses the fact that Miss Giddens has been thrown into the role of Governess where the house is shrouded in mystery, the fact that Miss Giddens doesn’t know about the history creates a claustrophobic feeling, especially when she is looking for answers in the dark corridors. There is also a very uncomfortable and agoraphobic-ness when out in the large open gardens of the manor house. While Flora is singing a song Miss Giddens see the previous Governess across the river, This creates that fear, an inescapable entity which scares the viewer.
Another major factor Clayton uses to get the attention of the viewer is using the viewer’s imagination to take a hold to grip them and create fear, showing subtle little things that set loose the imagination of the audience. This works perfectly alongside the claustrophobic atmosphere that has already been created within the viewer. A few great examples of this are where Miss Giddens sees a mysterious man atop the spire, only to find Miles has been there. When she is walking through the manor and sees a glimpse of a face for a second and it disappears. These little suggest to the viewer there are other entity’s amongst the manor.