We Have Always Lived In The Castle, a new film based on Shirley Jackson's 1962 mystery thriller, is a story that centres around a family and is sinister in a different way than most horror films. There are no jump scares, no suspenseful scenes in the dark, no long hallway chases. Instead, it's the almost alienating, other-worldly strangeness that gets the goosebumps going.
Sisters Constance (Alex Daddario) and Merricat Blackwood live with their frail and mentally ill Uncle Julian (Crispin Glover) in a large manor atop a hill in a small town — the only survivors after an arsenic poisoning incident that killed the rest of the family. Though the people in their town despise them for their privilege, they live peacefully secluded from the rest of the world.
But everything changes when their cousin Charles (Sebastian Stan) comes to town and claims that he wants to help them around the house, when in fact his intentions have much more to do with claiming the family fortune. While sweet and optimistic Constance warms up to her dear cousin, Merricat feels threatened. Charles's intrusion and the battle for power in the Blackwood "castle" unearths secrets from the past about the night of the Blackwoods' murder and results in yet another tragedy.
“I read Castle first when I was in high school,” said filmmaker Stacie Passon in her director’s statement. “It is smart, suspenseful, dark satire. The story, narrated by an 18-year-old sociopathic girl named Merricat Blackwood, is a rich mix of American political and social commentary. The themes of isolation, gender, class warfare seem even more relevant today.”
Watch the trailer below:
This article originally appeared on marie claire Australia.