Tuesday, April 7, 2015

In short: Remember Me (2014)

From a German perspective, it’s pretty easy to be jealous of the quality of British TV. Sure, it’s as full of the “reality” TV curse as ours around here, but there’s still room for something like this, a TV three part ghost story that is utterly earnest and utterly unapologetic about what it is. And while, if you know your supernatural tales, it won’t exactly surprise you with anything you haven’t seen before, Gwyneth Hughes’s script knows quite well how to use some of the ghost story’s more well-worn tropes, how to fuse them in interesting ways, and how to let careful characterisation and a fine acting ensemble (with Jodie Comer, Mark Addy and Michael Palin in a rare serious role all doing excellent work).

Not all of the film’s supernatural attacks are quite as effective as I would have wished for, sometimes falling into the obvious jump scare trap, but the ones that do work – and there are more of the good moments here than of the bad – are really fine work even if you know where the film is going with them early on in a scene. The same goes for the direction – a few scenes aren’t realized as subtly as they should be, but the show is moody and creepy more often than it is not, and the missteps are never so major as to become a problem.

Plus, how often do you see a ghost story on your TV that has as much time and patience for its characters as this one – and includes a ghost-laying version of “Scarborough Fair”?

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