As Telluride Roars, Limited Releases Whimper: With ‘The Little Stranger’ Weak, Only ‘Searching’ Clicks

Lenny Abrahamson’s follow-up to “Room” fails to find a strong audience, while John Cho shows star power.

Wile Labor Day weekend is one of the biggest weekends for specialized distributors with Telluride, Venice, and the upcoming Toronto Film Festivals, it’s the least appealing holiday to open new limited films. Most of the limited action came from two documentaries, both of which are streaming: “Pick of the Litter” and “Active Measures.” There was one significant feature, Lenny Abrahamson’s “The Little Stranger,” which went wide and barely registered with a under-$900 per-theater-average.

Sony, meantime, is having some initial success with its John Cho thriller “Searching.” After a strong limited start last weekend, it found solid results in a moderately wide release. This is a notable, non-awards season release for a studio’s staggered expansion film.

Opening

The Little Stranger (Focus) – Metacritic: 69

$420,000 in 474 theaters; PTA (per theater average): $886

Irish director Lenny Abrahamson broke out three years ago with “Room,” including a Best Director Oscar nomination. His follow up film — a horror mystery set in a dilapidated haunted mansion — has some of the claustrophobic feel of “Room.” But the film, taken on by Focus pre-production, received less favorable reviews and opened in advance of the fall festivals on a national release. The response is underwhelming, although it did have a decent Saturday uptick that suggests it is reaching some of the older audience it wants.

What comes next: This level of gross doesn’t encourage further expansion.

 

Ya Vermemos (Lionsgate)

$1,800,000 in 369 theaters; PTA: $4,878

The title translates as “We’ll See.” This Mexican comedy (already a big hit at home) is the latest from Lionsgate’s Spanish-language partner Pantelion. It centers on a boy dealing with his parents divorce at a time when his eyes are failing. It opened mid-range for their releases that play at mainly strong Latino-audience theaters.

What comes next: This looks to have found its appropriate audience and theaters, with not much expansion likely.

 

Let the Corpses Tan (Kino Lorber) – Metacritic: 62; Festivals include: Toronto, AFI 2017

$12,138 in 3 theaters; PTA (per theater average): $4,046

This  Belgian/French gold heist thriller opened in three New York/Los Angeles theaters with modest review support and similar grosses in its initial week.

What comes next: This is set for mostly limited engagements in prime arthouses ahead.

 

Active Measures (Neon) – Metacritic: 68; Festivals include: Hot Docs 2018; also streaming

$8,143 in 2 theaters; PTA (per theater average): $4,071

Release by Neon’s partnered label Super LTD, this documentary that connects the dots about Russia’s involvement in U.S. politics opened at two prime New York and Los Angeles theater alongside its home viewing availability. The results sold some limited interest, but more importantly got the reviews and other media attention. It was the top documentary on iTunes this weekend, and placed #7 on their overall rental chart.

What comes next: Mostly home viewing, although its timely subject to garner it above average theater play also.

“Pick of the Litter”Pick of the Litter (IFC)  – Metacritic: 62; Festivals include: Slamdance 2018; also on Video on Demand

$19,078 in 2 theaters; PTA (per theater average): $9,539

A documentary on an appealing subject — the training of support dogs — opened in New York and Los Angeles to quite decent results, especially with its parallel initial home viewing platform release. This could be sort of film (as IFC has shown in the past) that can still appeal in theaters with alternatives out there.

What comes next: The next openings are in the Bay Area and Portland this Friday.

A Paris Education (Kino Lorber) – Metacritic: 52; Festivals include: Berlin 2018

$3,358 in 1 theater; PTA (per theater average): $3,358

Without significant review support, this single-screen Manhattan debut for this film set in the world of French cinephiles had a minor initial result.

What comes next: This will see some limited specialized expansion ahead.

“Searching”

Week Two

Searching (Sony)

$5,700,000 in 1,207 theaters (+1,198); PTA: $4,722; Cumulative: $6,208,000

Sony has managed a more-than-respectable initial result in its expansion of this Sundance-premiered sci-fi thriller with John Cho in the lead. It ranks #5 overall for the weekend. This can be tricky territory for major studios, and the longer-term trajectory for the film will be better seen next weekend. But so far so good.

Papillon (Bleecker Street)

$351,530 in 539 theaters (-5)

This remake of the McQueen/Hoffman prison escape drama collapsed its second weekend after a mediocre start. The drop was about two thirds.

The Bookshop (Greenwich)

$190,520 in 60 theaters (+56); PTA: $3,175; Cumulative: $261,029

Veteran director Isabel Coixet’s mostly Spanish-made (in English) period film set on the British coast showed some older audience interest in a rapid second-week expansion. This move should position it to benefit ahead from whatever positive word of mouth is could receive.

No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No Book Cover UsageMandatory Credit: Photo by Burn Later Productions/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock (9838587h)Haley Lu Richardson as Maci, Regina Hall as Lisa'Support the Girls' Film - 2018

“Support the Girls”

Burn Later Productions/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock

Support the Girls (Magnolia)

$(est.) 20,000 in 20 theaters (-15); PTA: $(est.) 1,000; Cumulative: $(est.) 99,000

Andrew Bujaski’s acclaimed feminist comedy with Regina Hall is falling far short of the attention it deserves. It lost many of its initial theaters, with low grosses overall in the remaining ones.

 

John McEnroe – In the Realm of Perfection (Oscilloscope)

$44,190 in 21 theaters (+20); PTA: $1,264; Cumulative: $44,190

McEnroe ranks as an iconic figure with Ruth Bader Ginsberg and Fred Rogers, but this well-received documentary looks to have more limited interest.

 

Ethan Hawke, Rose Byrne, and Chris O'Dowd appear in <i>Juliet, Naked</i> by Jesse Peretz, an official selection of the Premieres program at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Alex Bailey. All photos are copyrighted and may be used by press only for the purpose of news or editorial coverage of Sundance Institute programs. Photos must be accompanied by a credit to the photographer and/or 'Courtesy of Sundance Institute.' Unauthorized use, alteration, reproduction or sale of logos and/or photos is strictly prohibited.

“Juliet, Naked”

Courtesy of Sundance Institute, photo by Alex Bailey.

Ongoing/expanding (Grosses over $50,000)

Juliet, Naked (Roadside Attractions) Week 3

$804,025 in 318 theaters (+275); Cumulative: $1,253,000

With Ethan Hawke leading the strong ensemble, this relationship film with a musician-obsession twist expanded nationally this weekend. The results show some crossover interest, but this looks like it might struggle to break out much wider.

The Wife (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 3

$524,346 in 78 theaters (+60); Cumulative: $1,014,000

This story of how the marriage of a Nobel Prize winner is affected by his award, with Glenn Close getting some of the best reviews of her career, is thriving as it expands. This is grossing at a pace that looks like it will approach “Call Me By Your Name” territory SPC’s biggest grossing film in the last two and a half years.

Sorry to Bother You (Annapurna) Week 9

$267,000 in 505 theaters (+417); Cumulative: $16,958,000

A holiday weekend rebooking of Boots Riley’s genre-bending hit will push it over $17 million. That’s third best among all the many successful films that premiered at this year’s Sundance.

Eighth Grade

“Eighth Grade”

A24

Eighth Grade (A24) Week 8

$266,000 in 227 theaters (-139); Cumulative: $12,929,000

After a wide national run, with most of its business coming from a smaller percentage of its runs, the middle-school transition to adolescence story is one of the biggest live-action specialized films of 2018 — at least before the deluge of fall films.

Three Identical Strangers (Neon) Week 10

$238,260 in 170 theaters (-51); Cumulative: $11,583,000

This very successful documentary has nearly tripled the gross of “Searching for Sugar Man” three years ago. That similar story (a compelling personal mystery that played as a narrative) went on to win the Best Feature Documentary Oscar for 2012.

Puzzle (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 6

$187,013 in 213 theaters (-52); Cumulative: $1,574,000

The story of a woman emerging from her suburban family shell is winding down its run with a mid-level total of $2 million the likely final result.

The Miseducation of Cameron Post (FilmRise) Week 5

$70,000 in 45 (-40) theaters; Cumulative: $768,420

Abusive gay conversion therapy and its impact is the subject of this Sundance-debuted drama, which is winding down after getting elevated national art house attention.

Won’t You Be My Neighbor? (Focus) Week 13; also streaming

$70,000 in 113 theaters (-47); Cumulative: $22,275,000

Nearing the end of its theatrical run (it’s transitioning to home viewing), Fred Rogers is the biggest documentary star in years for this wildly successful film. It stands as the biggest specialized hit of the summer.

Blaze (IFC) Week 3   7-110

$62,636 in 20 theaters (+17); Cumulative: $174,701

Still playing mainly in Texas (Nashville also opened), Ethan Hawke’s biofilm about a cult music figure continues to show some interest in advance of its openings, starting this Friday, in the rest of the country.

Leave No Trace (Bleecker Street) Week 10

$56,357 in 98 (+32) theaters; Cumulative: $5,886,000

With $6 million in view, Debra Granik’s drama looks to equal Bleecker Street’s “Captain Fantastic” two years ago.

 

Also noted:

We the Animals (The Orchard) – $38,410 in 19 theaters; Cumulative: $200,270

Madeline’s Madeline (Oscilloscope) – $28,150 in 31 theaters; Cumulative: $111,821

McQueen (Bleecker Street) – $22,920 in 17 theaters; Cumulative: $1,186,000

Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood (Greenwich) – $14,397 in 17 theaters; Cumulative: $381,229

Memoir of War (Music Box) – $10,857 in theaters; Cumulative: $59,239

 

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‘Crazy Rich Asians’ to Top Labor Day Box Office With $30 Million

“Crazy Rich Asians” is doing crazy well. The Constance Wu-starrer is likely to threepeat as the box office topper over the Labor Day weekend, with $30 million for the four-day period. It’s projected to bring in $23 million Friday thro…

“Crazy Rich Asians” is doing crazy well. The Constance Wu-starrer is likely to threepeat as the box office topper over the Labor Day weekend, with $30 million for the four-day period. It’s projected to bring in $23 million Friday through Sunday. The Warner Bros. rom-com will join “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle,” “Black Panther,” and “Avengers: […]

Domhnall Gleeson & Charlotte Rampling Haunt ‘Little Stranger’; Docs on Collusion, Science and Dogs Set – Specialty Preview

Awards and fall releases are on the mind for industry insiders heading to the Telluride Film Festival this Labor Day weekend, while the final vestiges of specialty summer roll outs head to theaters. Focus Features is taking psychological-thriller The L…

Awards and fall releases are on the mind for industry insiders heading to the Telluride Film Festival this Labor Day weekend, while the final vestiges of specialty summer roll outs head to theaters. Focus Features is taking psychological-thriller The Little Stranger to 500 theaters Friday. The title by Oscar nominee Lenny Abrahamson and starring Domhnall Gleeson, Charlotte Rampling and Ruth Wilson headlines the weekend's specialty narratives. The weekend also offers…

‘The Little Stranger’ Film Review: ‘Room’ Director Returns With a Fusty, Misguided Ghost Story

Lenny Abrahamson’s follow-up to the Oscar-winning “Room” is another story about a woman in an unescapable situation, trapped in a confining and ominous locale, and preyed upon by a scheming, creepy man. But whereas “Room” was a harrowing drama about modern kidnapping, “The Little Stranger” is a gloomy ghost story about social upheaval in early-20th-century England. And it’s not a particularly good one.

“The Little Stranger” stars Domhnall Gleason as Dr. Faraday, a gaunt stalk of a man, with bleached complexion and dead little eyes. He works in a small town near an estate called Hundred Hall, where the once-wealthy, now financially decaying Ayres family resides. It was once a handsome building with glorious grounds, but it now looks like it’s only a decade or so away from devolving into Grey Gardens.

Dr. Faraday is called to Hundreds Hall to attend to a sick housemaid, and he meets what remains of the Ayres family: Roddy (Will Poulter, “Detroit”) was grievously scarred in the war, and walks with a painful, labored gait. His sister, Caroline (Ruth Wilson, “The Affair”), is a great beauty who can no longer afford to look beautiful, who has sacrificed her own future to care for her ailing brother. Their mother, Angela (Charlotte Rampling), resides over them all, and reminds them of finer, more affluent times.

Also Read: Lenny Abrahamson’s ‘The Little Stranger’ Acquired by Focus Features

As circumstances get harder for the Ayres family, Dr. Faraday finds himself at Hundreds Hall more and more often. Treating the sick, committing the insane, and spending more and more moments alone with Caroline. Before long it seems as though he practically lives there, which may or may not have been part of his plan all along.

By all rights, “The Little Stranger” should be Caroline’s story. She’s trapped in an eerie, dilapidated mansion, having sacrificed so very much of herself, with nowhere to go due to familial obligations and social limitations. It’s her fears that we sympathize with, her victimization that we worry about, and her victory if she ever escapes Hundreds Hall. Wilson towers in this kind of performance, and the film’s storyline seems to support her struggle at every turn.

Also Read: ‘The Affair’: Ruth Wilson Says There’s a ‘Much Bigger Story’ Behind Exit – but She Still Can’t Tell It

So it’s telling that, instead, this little tale of wickedness is told by Dr. Faraday, who as a young child idolized the Ayres and their enchanting home, and now will do seemingly anything to worm his way into that household. It’s a horror story told from the perspective of the villain, but he’s either unwilling to admit that he’s the villain or the movie simply doesn’t want us to know for certain. Either way, it’s a distancing approach to the story, especially since Gleeson gives such a neutral, measured, cadaverous performance that there’s no reason to ever suspect he has anything inside him that isn’t sociopathic.

The emptiness of Dr. Faraday seems to mirror the emptiness of Hundreds Hall, but The Hundreds is actually filled with captivating characters. The dowager with life left in her, the young woman whose life never began, and the well-intentioned soldier whose life has been obliterated. It’s almost subversive that the working-class Dr. Faraday is so painfully drab compared with the aristocrats, and even odder still that he’s the center of the story when he has the least to offer in terms of passion or intrigue.

Also Read: ‘Room’ Director Explains How He Protected 8-Year-Old Star From Film’s Dark Side

Abrahamson seems fascinated with the idea of gothic storytelling, but he hasn’t quite got the knack of it. His hallways are vast and eerie, and his characters are brooding and imprisoned, but neither his production design nor his cast are permitted to show more than the briefest flickers of life. The story isn’t bursting out of the seams of “The Little Stranger”; it practically refuses to come out at all. Abrahamson is keeping his movie prisoner, and he never even lets it exercise, let alone escape.

“The Little Stranger” has all the disquieting atmosphere of a total void, and like a total void, not a lot happens in it. You might get sucked into the cold, but you’ll grow bored quickly. The film fails to distract you from its very straightforward mysteries, so you’ll have you plenty of time to solve them in the first act. Waiting for the movie to catch up is a little infuriating, because it’s not quite strange enough to surprise you along the way.



Related stories from TheWrap:

Brooklynn Prince Boards Amblin Haunted House Movie ‘The Turning’

Here’s a Look at Disney’s ‘Haunted Mansion’ Series That May Never See Light of Day (Video)

4 Lessons to Make a Gothic Horror Movie on Time and on Budget (Guest Blog)

‘Suspiria’: Watch Terrifying 1st Full Trailer for Luca Guadagnino’s Horror Remake (Video)

Lenny Abrahamson’s follow-up to the Oscar-winning “Room” is another story about a woman in an unescapable situation, trapped in a confining and ominous locale, and preyed upon by a scheming, creepy man. But whereas “Room” was a harrowing drama about modern kidnapping, “The Little Stranger” is a gloomy ghost story about social upheaval in early-20th-century England. And it’s not a particularly good one.

“The Little Stranger” stars Domhnall Gleason as Dr. Faraday, a gaunt stalk of a man, with bleached complexion and dead little eyes. He works in a small town near an estate called Hundred Hall, where the once-wealthy, now financially decaying Ayres family resides. It was once a handsome building with glorious grounds, but it now looks like it’s only a decade or so away from devolving into Grey Gardens.

Dr. Faraday is called to Hundreds Hall to attend to a sick housemaid, and he meets what remains of the Ayres family: Roddy (Will Poulter, “Detroit”) was grievously scarred in the war, and walks with a painful, labored gait. His sister, Caroline (Ruth Wilson, “The Affair”), is a great beauty who can no longer afford to look beautiful, who has sacrificed her own future to care for her ailing brother. Their mother, Angela (Charlotte Rampling), resides over them all, and reminds them of finer, more affluent times.

As circumstances get harder for the Ayres family, Dr. Faraday finds himself at Hundreds Hall more and more often. Treating the sick, committing the insane, and spending more and more moments alone with Caroline. Before long it seems as though he practically lives there, which may or may not have been part of his plan all along.

By all rights, “The Little Stranger” should be Caroline’s story. She’s trapped in an eerie, dilapidated mansion, having sacrificed so very much of herself, with nowhere to go due to familial obligations and social limitations. It’s her fears that we sympathize with, her victimization that we worry about, and her victory if she ever escapes Hundreds Hall. Wilson towers in this kind of performance, and the film’s storyline seems to support her struggle at every turn.

So it’s telling that, instead, this little tale of wickedness is told by Dr. Faraday, who as a young child idolized the Ayres and their enchanting home, and now will do seemingly anything to worm his way into that household. It’s a horror story told from the perspective of the villain, but he’s either unwilling to admit that he’s the villain or the movie simply doesn’t want us to know for certain. Either way, it’s a distancing approach to the story, especially since Gleeson gives such a neutral, measured, cadaverous performance that there’s no reason to ever suspect he has anything inside him that isn’t sociopathic.

The emptiness of Dr. Faraday seems to mirror the emptiness of Hundreds Hall, but The Hundreds is actually filled with captivating characters. The dowager with life left in her, the young woman whose life never began, and the well-intentioned soldier whose life has been obliterated. It’s almost subversive that the working-class Dr. Faraday is so painfully drab compared with the aristocrats, and even odder still that he’s the center of the story when he has the least to offer in terms of passion or intrigue.

Abrahamson seems fascinated with the idea of gothic storytelling, but he hasn’t quite got the knack of it. His hallways are vast and eerie, and his characters are brooding and imprisoned, but neither his production design nor his cast are permitted to show more than the briefest flickers of life. The story isn’t bursting out of the seams of “The Little Stranger”; it practically refuses to come out at all. Abrahamson is keeping his movie prisoner, and he never even lets it exercise, let alone escape.

“The Little Stranger” has all the disquieting atmosphere of a total void, and like a total void, not a lot happens in it. You might get sucked into the cold, but you’ll grow bored quickly. The film fails to distract you from its very straightforward mysteries, so you’ll have you plenty of time to solve them in the first act. Waiting for the movie to catch up is a little infuriating, because it’s not quite strange enough to surprise you along the way.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Brooklynn Prince Boards Amblin Haunted House Movie 'The Turning'

Here's a Look at Disney's 'Haunted Mansion' Series That May Never See Light of Day (Video)

4 Lessons to Make a Gothic Horror Movie on Time and on Budget (Guest Blog)

'Suspiria': Watch Terrifying 1st Full Trailer for Luca Guadagnino's Horror Remake (Video)

The Little Stranger isn’t scary, but it is a supremely elegant riff on Gothic horror

The Little Stranger, a strange little haunted-house yarn from director Lenny Abrahamson (Room), creeps into theaters this weekend as quietly as a cold breeze slipping in through a cracked window. Normally, when a studio goes to great lengths to hide an…

The Little Stranger, a strange little haunted-house yarn from director Lenny Abrahamson (Room), creeps into theaters this weekend as quietly as a cold breeze slipping in through a cracked window. Normally, when a studio goes to great lengths to hide an upcoming release—prohibiting reviews until the eleventh hour,…

Read more...

Film Review: ‘The Little Stranger’

“Moldy” is not generally an adjective most filmmakers would like to hear directed at their work, yet it applies, rather eerily and gorgeously, to “The Little Stranger.” Lenny Abrahamson and screenwriter Lucinda Coxon’s refined, deliberate adaptat…

“Moldy” is not generally an adjective most filmmakers would like to hear directed at their work, yet it applies, rather eerily and gorgeously, to “The Little Stranger.” Lenny Abrahamson and screenwriter Lucinda Coxon’s refined, deliberate adaptation of Sarah Waters’ neo-Gothic novel has the sense, in style and mood, of having been discovered in a neglected […]

‘The Little Stranger’ Review: Lenny Abrahamson Follows ‘Room’ With a Bland Ghost Story

It aspires for more, but Sarah Waters’ 2009 novel becomes an aimless drama onscreen.

There’s a single terrifying moment in “The Little Stranger,” an otherwise confused, self-serious drama, that shows real potential: Mrs. Ayres (Charlotte Rampling), the matriarch of a wealthy family, is haunted by a supernatural presence that locks her in a room. A violent force rattles the door as the walls shake with jarring vibrations from every direction. She’s surrounded by an invisible, unknown threat, yet Rampling’s frantic response grounds the circumstances in credible dread. The visceral quality of claustrophobia is rarely so well executed in cinematic terms, but for much of “The Little Stranger,” it’s the material itself that feels boxed in.

The movie flails more than it fails, grasping for possibilities beyond its potential. Director Lenny Abrahamson follows up his acclaimed “Room” with another expressive look at people trapped by phenomena beyond their control, but this time much of the story has been squandered by misguided goals. “The Little Stranger” approaches genuine horror territory but pulls back again and again, resisting the strongest aspects of its narrative in favor of an elegant but hollow period drama. Failing to muster enough substance to justify the gravitas, this is a haunted house movie with desperate aspirations for something more.

Based on Sarah Waters’ 2009 novel, “The Little Stranger” unfolds in the immediate aftermath of WWII, when the young Dr. Faraday (Domhnall Gleeson) arrives at the Ayres’ palatial mansion in the remote British countryside of Lidcote to help its ailing maid Betty (Liv Hill). The family grounds, known as Hundreds Hall, have been a part of the doctor’s life since his own childhood, when he wandered the premises during various local gatherings and found himself in awe of the lavish gothic interiors.

Now, the 18th century estate has become an eerie, vacant shell, where Mrs. Ayres’ daughter Caroline (Ruth Wilson) roams the hallways with little to do and her brother Roderick (Will Poulter) copes with severe scars he suffered during the war. In short order, Faraday takes a liking to Caroline and starts hanging around the premises, helping Roderick cope with his injuries and advising on pretty much everything else. Pretty soon, he’s being asked to help in ways he couldn’t have anticipated: a bizarre, unseen presence has been scratching the walls at night, and that’s just one of a few threatening developments that enhance the aura of dread lingering over every scene.

As a mood piece — one relatively faithful to the style and trajectory of Waters’ novel — “The Little Stranger” moves forward with fits of intriguing exposition. But Faraday’s sullen, muted demeanor syncs with cinematographer Ole Bratt Birkeland’s grayish palette, to the point where many scenes struggle from a stuffy, robotic quality at odds with the circumstances at hand. On the page, Waters’ drama benefits from vivid prose that conjures a world of uncertainties surrounding Faraday’s motivations as well as the history of the family that draws him in. On screen, however, the sterile images become a roadblock.

Still, there’s a fascinating allegorical quality to this ghostly scenario: Faraday confesses that he envied this household in his childhood, having come from a poorer family, and his newfound role at the center of the Ayres’ various challenges suggests that long-dormant class issues continue to drive a wedge in this relationship despite his attempt to move beyond them. Here and there, the movie keeps you guessing about where Faraday’s childhood history with the estate might lead him, but he’s such an uninteresting character that the tension never rises enough to hold the mystery together.

Above all else, “The Little Stranger” suffers from a nagging case of deja vu. The DNA for this sort of spooky British storytelling stretches all the way back to Henry James’ “The Turn of the Screw,” but while that story used an otherworldly life-or-death scenario to keep the suspense in play, much of “The Little Stranger” lingers in a sleepy, restrictive mode, as if Abrahamson himself lost interest in the stakes and decided to keep rebooting them instead.

The movie never settles on a singular groove: it’s alternately focused on Faraday’s would-be romance with Caroline (which never generates any real sparks), and Roderick’s mounting desire to escape the family bonds and forge a new life, but neither of these pathways holds much appeal, at least not when there are literal things going bump in the night lurking in the walls. But Abrahamson seems so coy about the haunting of the Ayres’ house that he refuses to allow the movie’s strongest aspect to take center stage, and the perils of “The Little Stranger” hover aimlessly throughout the movie like a specter in search of some elusive white light.

It’s unfortunate when visionary directors stumble into banal material, but Abrahamson’s displayed such flexibility that even this sort of miscalculation speaks to the versatility of his talent. From the oddball rock satire “Frank,” he shifted into the haunting and magical “Room,” and now he’s delivered something else altogether. At least this unpredictable trajectory means he’s less likely to lose his way than to keep searching for new ones. Better luck next time.

Grade: C-

“The Little Stranger” opens theatrically August 31.

‘The Affair’s’ Ruth Wilson Stays Mum on Controversial Exit

The buzz at the New York premiere of “The Little Stranger” was all about the film’s star Ruth Wilson. But the noise wasn’t just about the movie — questions surrounding her abrupt departure from Showtime’s “The …

The buzz at the New York premiere of “The Little Stranger” was all about the film’s star Ruth Wilson. But the noise wasn’t just about the movie — questions surrounding her abrupt departure from Showtime’s “The Affair” continue to grow more pitched. On the red carpet, Wilson only consented to being interviewed by a pool […]

‘The Little Stranger’ Trailer: ‘Room’ Director Lenny Abrahamson Returns With A Domhnall Gleeson Ghost Story

“The Affair” actress Ruth Wilson and Will Poulter co-star in Abrahamson’s period horror film.

“Room” director Lenny Abrahamson surprised the industry when he landed one of the five Oscar nominations for best director in 2016. Prior to his Brie Larson-starring drama, Abrahamson was best known as the  director behind small, offbeat character studies like “Adam and Paul,” “Garage,” and “Frank,” but “Room” arguably chained the course of the Irish filmmaker’s career. In a surprise move, Abrahamson is tackling the period horror genre for his “Room” follow-up “The Little Stranger.”

Based on the 2009 gothic novel by Sarah Waters, “The Little Stranger” is set in 1947 and stars indie favorite Domhnall Gleeson as Dr. Faraday, who is called to a manor named Hundreds Hall to investigate the haunting of the Ayers family, played by Charlotte Rampling, Ruth Wilson, and Will Poulter. Little does Faraday know that his new subjects are at the center of a ghost story that will become entwined with is own.

“The Little Stranger” marks a reunion between Abrahamson and Gleeson, who played one of the lead characters opposite Michael Fassbender and Maggie Gyllenhaal in “Frank.” Focus Features will release “The Little Stranger” in theaters August 31. Watch the official trailer below.

‘Mary, Queen Of Scots’, ‘Boy Erased’ & ‘The Little Stranger’: Focus Features Dates Trio For Next Fall

Oscar-nominated Room director Lenny Abrahamson’s next movie, the ghost story The Little Stranger will open over Labor Day weekend next year, Aug. 31, it was announced by Focus Features today.
Also added to Focus’ slate next year is Joel Edgerton’s Boy Erased on September 28 and Josie Rourke’s Mary, Queen of Scots on November 2. Both will be limited releases.
Currently, The Little Stranger is the only wide release over Labor Day weekend next year, which is good news for…

Oscar-nominated Room director Lenny Abrahamson’s next movie, the ghost story The Little Stranger will open over Labor Day weekend next year, Aug. 31, it was announced by Focus Features today. Also added to Focus’ slate next year is Joel Edgerton’s Boy Erased on September 28 and Josie Rourke’s Mary, Queen of Scots on November 2. Both will be limited releases. Currently, The Little Stranger is the only wide release over Labor Day weekend next year, which is good news for…

Focus Features Acquires Lenny Abrahamson’s ‘The Little Stranger’ – Cannes

Focus Features has picked up worldwide rights to Lenny Abrahamson‘s The Little Stranger, excluding the UK, France and Switzerland, where it will be distributed by Pathé. The chilling ghost story, which will begin production in the UK this summer with a planned 2018 release, stars Charlotte Rampling, Domhnall Gleeson, Ruth Wilson and Will Poulter.
Abrahamson, who directed the 2015 Oscar-nominated pic Room, will direct. Lucinda Coxton, who wrote the screenplay adaptation…

Focus Features has picked up worldwide rights to Lenny Abrahamson's The Little Stranger, excluding the UK, France and Switzerland, where it will be distributed by Pathé. The chilling ghost story, which will begin production in the UK this summer with a planned 2018 release, stars Charlotte Rampling, Domhnall Gleeson, Ruth Wilson and Will Poulter. Abrahamson, who directed the 2015 Oscar-nominated pic Room, will direct. Lucinda Coxton, who wrote the screenplay adaptation…