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Book Talk and Other Adaptations


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My first exposure to "The Turn of the Screw" was a TV movie adaptation called The Haunting of Helen Walker with Valerie Bertinelli in the nanny role. I was maybe 14 or 15 when I saw it and that movie is the reason that ghost possession freaks me out. It amused me in the episode threads when posters mentioned the ickiness of Quint and Jessel possessing siblings because there were more than a couple of scenes in Helen Walker with Flora and Miles fully possessed and yeah, they were made of squick. It was nothing outwardly inappropriate for the young actors but seeing a 10-year-old boy brushing his 8-year-old sister's hair behind her ear or the sister caressing the brother's cheek is shudder-inducing.

I finally ended up reading the novella in college. (Not for class or anything, just because my school's library had it.)

I think some of the plot points in Bly Manor would have hit a little differently for me if I hadn't known the kids were possessed as least some of the time. I will say, though, that I do like that this didn't end nearly as dark as the original story.

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I've only watched three episodes, but given how (1) Mrs Grose keeps lighting candles, (2) Owen's story is partly about how he misses out on life because he takes care of his mom, and (3) the episode titles are named after other Henry James stories, I'm guessing that the series really also takes elements of other James stories like "The Altar of the Dead" and "The Beast in the Jungle"?  

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