Movie Review: Carmilla

Carmilla is the latest release for director and writer Emily Harris a romantic horror film, based on an 1872 Gothic novella by Irish author Sheridan Le Fanu. Set in the late 18th century this was a story new to me but apparently, it is one that has been adapted many times and Carmilla is mentioned in many gothic/vampire stories.

Lara is a 15-year-old young girl, living in a beautiful rural setting in Northern England with her Governess Miss Fontaine as her main company as her Father is often away. She is full of zest for life but Miss Fontaine is constantly punishing her inquisitive and passionate nature, her left hand is often bound to make sure she uses her right hand over her left. She sneaks books from her Father’s library that are not acceptable for a young lady to read and just wants someone to visit as she finds the isolation oppressive. 

Lara is excited that she is to have a friend visit but that friend becomes unwell as do other young ladies in town. One night there is a carriage crash and a young woman is bought into the family home to recover from what appears to be amnesia.

As she recovers Lara becomes intrigued by the beautiful and enchanting stranger named Carmilla and a friendship forms that turns deadly and passionate. What will Miss Fontaine do to protect her charge?

The casting is great especially the stern Miss Fontaine played by Jessica Raine and the inquisitive Lara played by Hannah Rae.

The film is beautifully filmed but I found it a dark tale. For lovers of this genre, it will be a must-see. Carmilla will be released to Australian audiences on the 13th of May 2021.

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