A horror flop that’s more laughable than scary finds new life on Netflix

the turning

Troubled productions are always viewed with a raised eyebrow of suspicion the longer they stay in development, especially if widespread changes occur behind the scenes. With that in mind, it would be fair to suggest that even die-hard horror aficionados didn’t have particularly high hopes for The Turning.

A modern-day update of Henry James’ 1898 chiller The Turn of the Screw, matters weren’t helped when the movie arrived in theaters at the same time Mike Flanagan’s Netflix series The Haunting of Bly Manor was in production, which used the same source material for inspiration and came packing a lot more buzz.

Mackenzie Davis’ Kate Mandell takes a live-in nanny job for a pair of young orphans in their cavernous mansion before quickly discovering that things are going bump in the night. Juan Carlos Fresnadillo was originally developing The Turning before the plug was pulled, with $5 million already having been spent.

That left replacement Floria Sigismondi less money to work with, and it shows. A 13% Rotten Tomatoes score and 15% user rating sounds about right, and The Turning made less than $20 million at the box office on a $19 million budget. And yet, it’s somehow managed to sneak its way onto the Netflix most-watched list as per FlixPatrol, because subscribers are evidently in the mood for tedious genre pieces.