Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - WEEK IN MOVIES -

MIA Wasikowska has al­ways looked as if she was born to be in a movie where she fear­fully scam­pers up and down dimly lit cor­ri­dors in an old-fash­ioned night­gown. Yet in spite of her per­fect cast­ing in this so-so haunted-house thriller, her del­i­cate fea­tures and dart­ing eyes are no match for the un­bri­dled mal­ice and dom­i­nant screen charisma of co-star Jes­sica Chas­tain. Story takes a back seat to at­mo­spher­ics, as is of­ten the case with di­rec­tor Guillermo del Toro. Wasikowska plays an as­pir­ing nov­el­ist in the early 1900s who gets on the wrong side of a dis­turbed no­ble­woman (Chas­tain) af­ter mar­ry­ing her equally not-quite-right brother (Tom Hid­dle­ston). Though be­witch­ingly de­signed and filmed, it’s hard to over­look the fact it barely rus­tles up a full-blooded scare.

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