Director: Emily Harris
Runtime: 94 minutes
Cast: Tobias Menzies, Jessica Raine, Greg Wise, Hannah Rae, Devrim Lingnau
Synopsis: Inspired by the famed vampire novella, this 19th-century coming-of-age romance chronicles the relationship between sheltered teen Lara and a mysterious young woman who arrives at her remote estate after a carriage accident nearby. The girls share a powerful connection, but with rumours of supernatural activity overtaking the land, Lara’s devout governess eyes Carmilla with great suspicion and jealousy. A candlelit fable, shadowy and seductive.
Writer/Director Emily Harris [Borges and I (2009), Paragraph (2015)] has given a new lease of life to Sheridan Le Fanu’s 19th-century gothic vampire novella Carmilla, an atmospheric, coming-of-age love story steeped in eerie mystery.
Miss Fontaine [Jessica Raine – Call the Midwife (TV 2012-14), Wolf Hall (TV 2015)] is the strict governess to 15-year-old Lara [Hannah Rae – City of Tiny Lights (2016), Broadchurch (TV 2013), Fighting with My Family (2019)] who lives in total isolation in her family home.
Continually dubbed a dreamer by the stern, scolding governess and usually left alone by her absent father [Greg Wise – Effie Gray (2014), Johnny English (2003), Sense and Sensibility (1995)], Lara counts the days until a girl from a neighbouring town will stay for three months. But news of this friend’s sudden illness and cancellation of her visit hits the teen hard — until the mysterious, glamorous Carmilla [Devrim Lingnau – Auerhaus (2019), Carmilla (2019), Immortality (2018)] appears unexpectedly in the night, looking for a place to recover after a carriage crash.
Lara is gradually enchanted by the mysterious stranger, and the pair strike up a passionate relationship. They share a powerful connection, but with rumours of supernatural activity overtaking the land, Lara’s devout governess eyes Carmilla with great suspicion and jealousy.
The film is beautifully staged, moodily lit, with elaborate detailed art direction and production design, while cinematographer Michael Wood [Let Me Go (2017)] creates a creepily atmospheric, unworldly and hyper-real narrative.
Carmilla is a complex, enchanting gothic mystery, fascinating and obsessional in every detail, drawing you relentlessly into its seductive world.
In cinemas and Amazon Prime
Images courtesy of Republic Films