15+ The Turning Reviews – Director Floria Sigismondi says Alternate Ending Exists, But Who Cares?

The Turning ½

The ending is terrible, but in an interview with director Floria Sigismondi we learn another version of the ending was shot.

SIGISMONDI: There are some deleted scenes that you’ll eventually see in the extras. It’s always a process to home in on what’s best for the film. There’s another version of an ending you’ll see… but it was always in service of streamlining and condensing.

The Turning Director Floria Sigismondi on its Hidden Meaning | Collider

Am sure when the Blu-ray/UHD or digital version comes out that ending will be part of the sales appeal. My only curiosity is what is the chance that alternate ending is much better? We’ll know if/when that is released. I’ve read a bunch of complaints from moviegoers about the ending being anywhere from disappointing to abrupt to irritating.


Good time to stop readers and say, it’s SPOILER territory that follows. This is a critique, so revealing anything and everything is fair ground in this post to trample over.

… you’ve been warned SPOILERS ahead …

No Scares for Horror

Probably the biggest sin any horror movie that isn’t a horror-comedy commits is not being scary. There are various attempts here, but the familiar just has horror fans saying to themselves, yup, seen it before. As stated in my review, the cliches came slow and unsurprisingly. There was little creative effort in execution and effort.

Spiders? They can be super scary, but in the trailer we saw the spider coming out of the mouth. So we already know that one is coming. They should have not featured that in the trailer.

Jump scares, ahh yes, the jump scare. Luckily there aren’t too many of these here, but less is always more.

Sound good, acting not so much

I liked the sound effects and that low bass drum pounding. It started to set the mood, but was often ruined by the character Miles played by Finn Wolfhard clearly overacting weird. Wish he had downplayed the weirdness with more innocence and subtlety. Or maybe if he started off as more friendly and less aloof and then changed as Kate (Mackenzie Davis) started to detect that the house wasn’t right.

Where to begin with Mackenzie Davis? Have seen her now in two very uninspired roles. In Terminator: Dark Fate⭐️⭐️½ she might as well have been reading the ingredients on a cereal box while jumping around in an action frenzy. Here, she utters most lines blurting and whining. I was annoyed when she spoke several times in the movie. It’s like hey, this kid Miles is weird, why not try hitting him with a joke to lighten the mood? Instead you’re trying to outweird his weirdness by displaying unconvincing shock and dismay. Like the ball scene where he’s being intentionally annoying, wasn’t that a perfect time for her to crack some funny joke and instead of trying to draw out some fake, overplayed drama? Where was the director watching this performance in the dailies and/or live on the set, saying, “cut!” counseling and reshooting?

We can’t always blame terrible acting on the script. I’m not in that camp that blames everything on the script. Yes, this script is abysmal, but that’s not a get out of jail free card. There are plenty of examples where you can say the actors and actresses did what they could with lousy material. I’m struggling to place all the blame on the script here.

Two bad acting roles in less than six months and one in a movie with $100+ million budget? That should spell uncertainty for your career, but no, we’ll see Mackenzie again. In fact, she’s in the political comedy Irresistible coming out May 29, 2020 and filming another movie. Hollywood is all about Mackenzie Davis!

Here’s an idea, give another actress in the talent pool a shot and send Mackenzie to the theater circuit to re-hone her craft. In fairness, she had some film festival accolades with Always Shine (2016) and Izzy Gets The F*ck Across Town (2017). I haven’t seen either of those films, so maybe I’ve missed her impressive acting in something good. Acting poorly in multiple films to me anyway should have at least some career setbacks when there is a massive talent pool of quality actresses waiting. Proper casting is important!

Brooklyn Prince as Flora was a little better.

The most earnest acting performance was turned in by Barbara Marten as Mrs. Grose. She played the family caretaker frumpy, awkward and yet somehow endearing. Viewers get the sense her admiration for the children is real. However, it is a bit hard to understand how she is completely nonplussed by the evil presence in the house. You can kinda forgive her overlooking Miles precocious behavior, but what about the house? It’s like she goes around cooking, cleaning and ignoring the east wing of the house like, “yeah, there’s some bad stuff going on in that side of the house, but I better get my vacuuming done.”

The Evil That Men Do

Is it just coincidence that there are zero redeemable male characters in this movie? Miles character is anything but good and the male spirit is psychotic at best. Why is it that so many movies are doing this? Focusing too much on women and if there are men, they are antagonists. Can we get a token decent male character once in awhile for some sort of balance? Not all men are evil incarnate, yes, even in horror. I’m seeing more and more films where men are treated like cigarette smoking (only the bad guys are smokers)

Script is a complete, utter mess

Most blame can be pointed to the script which is plodding, burdened with cliches and fouled by pacing missteps and weak dialogue. Does anybody talk like that? Had more than a few instances where I just shook my head and dove into my popcorn bucket for solace.


Cinemascore doesn’t give that many films an F grade and we’re not even done with the first month of 2020 and this is the second film with that onerous distinction.

Maybe filmmakers should steer away from adapting The Turn of The Screw? It’s a good story, but there are plenty of fresh stories deserving an adaptation versus returning to something that already has several adaptations.

Reviews by Others

Was surprised to find some positive reviews from others for The Turning, but the reality is no matter how bad or good I think a movie is, there is always somebody else out there that has the opposite opinion. Actually found a few out there who think the ending is good! Not putting that out there as a criticism for other moviegoers/reviewers, because I’ve said it several times here before: art is subjective and your opinion is yours alone.

Shouldn’t let me or anybody else make you feel good or bad about how you feel about movies. If you like something I dislike, that’s great. Finding movies we are entertained and enjoy is what it’s all about.


  1. Madison McSweeney: “I liked The Turning. You may not – but if you go in with the right attitude, you’ll find it’s more interesting than you’d been led to believe.”
  2. reviewandrepeat: “This movie felt like a mash-up between The Haunting of Hill House and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest in the best way possible. It threw so many things at you that it felt like it was trying too hard to be a “horror” movie. But once you get to the end it’s like a light bulb goes off and the entire movie makes so much sense.”
  3. Shane Moose (7.5/10): “It has a few genuine scares, a very chilling atmosphere, but most importantly, you have great actors giving great performances. This may not be the best ghost story on film, but I personally recommend it.”
  4. The Monster Lady (7/10): “In this movies defense, ghost stories back in the day were A LOT more subtle than what we’re used to seeing now. I enjoyed this jigsaw puzzle of a movie, although there were way too many plot holes that did not make sense.”

Not Recommended

  1. Becky Tyler Photography: “This abrupt nonsensical ending ruins what would have been a fine entry into the gothic haunted house sub-genre of horror films. Maybe one day we will get a directors cut with a proper ending. Until then, I suggest you not waste money on this one. One of the worst endings I have seen in recent memory.”
  2. Bob Foster: “…is a rental at best. There are elements that almost work, but are bogged down by those that don’t, especially the truly awful ending. “
  3. Davis Pittman / AIPT: “It’s a real shame this film is such a narrative mess because this cast deserves better material but all I can hope is that studios stop greenlighting sloppy scripts like this.”
  4. Emily Jacobsen / Film Daze: “It feels like The Turning is something we have seen many times before.”
  5. Halloween Year Round: “…gives us great performances by a strong, but small ensemble, and has great potential.  But sadly that potential is wasted on a ending that attempts to be artistic, but fails to put in the foundation to properly pull it off.”
  6. Jason’s Movie Blog (1.6/5): “…had potential to be something worth exploring (both narratively and cinematically), but ends up just muddling its presentation; crushing its spooky haunted house premise with unsatisfying feature with a lame ending.”
  7. Ready Steady Cut: “…the trajectory of The Turning is essentially that of a so-so January ghost movie that carries itself well enough for a lot of the runtime and then runs headfirst into a wall. There’s enough here to satisfy the most desperate haunted house movie junkies but even they will be left slack-jawed.”
  8. RogerInOrlando (1.5/4): “…there’s no terror, here. None.”
  9. Ross Bonamie: “…is a poor execution of James’ story, a vague, scare-free film that never seems to quite know what kind of story it wants to tell.”
  10. The80sTom (1/5): “In conclusion, as many others have said, don’t waste your time or money with this film. You’ll have a better time flushing it down the toilet than spending it on this monstrosity.”
  11. The Critic’s Sanctum: “I left the theater confused and shocked. I personally enjoyed the movie, but think the litany of flaws and issues makes it impossible to recommend outside of a few niche people that can find enjoyment in less than ideal movies.”
  12. What Went Wrong or Right With? “This film is an example of someone throwing every horror cliche at the screen hoping one of them will stick: wet ghostly footprints, a torch in a dark hallway, misty lakes, “look behind you” jump scares, apparitions in reflected surfaces, but unfortunately none of them work.”

Did I miss your review? Use the comments to tell me about your movie-related/review blog and I’ll follow. I like following movie-related blogs and pull quote from my reading list as well as other new blogs shared, liked and discovered.

NOW PLAYING REVIEWS: The Gentlemen, The Turning, The Last Measure

It’s the week of “The” titled movies for #4 of 2020 (1/23-1/26/2020), so which one is the best?

This week features three very different films: a drug kingpin is cashing out, a young woman caring for two children in a haunted house and a fight for a soldier to be awarded a prestigious medal many years later.

#1 goes to ….

The Last Full Measure ⭐️⭐️⭐️

This tale of the at first reluctant and later committed Pentagon staffer fighting to have the Medal of Honor awarded to hero William Pitsenbarger, an enlisted Air Force Pararescueman.

The Last Full Measure has gripping source material that will both frustrate and make proud

The Gentlemen ⭐️

After reading other reviews and according to several others, Guy Ritchie is returning to the style of his earlier films Lock, Stock and Smoking Barrels and Snatch, two films I’ve not seen. I didn’t find the style of this one to very entertaining. It’s a lot of grandstanding talk from drug thugs, none of the characters of which I found to be very endearing or likable interspersed with violent deaths. Seemed to me more like an attempt to do something like Quentin Tarantino did with Pulp Fiction, only not remotely as skilled.

This is one film where I’ve rated it lower than others — much lower in some cases — as it has pretty good reviews overall. Sticking by our rating and review as neither Kara or I enjoyed it, but you definitely should read other reviews and have an open mind to this film, despite our review. It might be that you like the style of this film. That’s the defining factor here, if you don’t dig how it flows, the rest of it blows.

The Turning ½ 

This isn’t quite Cats level terrible, but for horror films, this is among the absolute horror films I’ve ever seen. Poorly paced, scripted, directed and acted (probably in part due to such ghastly material to work from) with a plot that is so cliche-ridden it’s more stupid than spooky and among the worst endings of any film ever made in any genre.

A total hatchet job of a film that not only doesn’t deserve watching, it participates to the flawed notion that the horror genre is trashy and devoid of substance and quality. The Grudge⭐️⭐️ sucks too this month, but is an amazing film compared to this cinematic sludge.

Suffer the “The” title films

The weekend of “The” films turned out mostly whimpers and thuds. None of the films above were breakout entertainment, with only the true story that The Last Full Measure being noteworthy. This came disturbingly close to three no recommended votes.

Can’t wait for January 2020 to get over because it hasn’t been a very good month for new movies at the theater. Yes, we’ve had a couple OK to average films, but this month is holding the line for the dump month stigma of every January. The only film so far I can say I actually loved seeing was 1917 and I’m not considering that a January 2020 effort, it was technically released in 2019.

Want to see what else we recommend NOW PLAYING at the theater?

This is my favorite part of this week’s NOW PLAYING post: recommending other movies you can see instead of the newest films.

Here are other movies we’ve seen at the theaters recently and liked (maybe they are available in your area still) that are recommended. Any movie rated at least 3-stars is recommended. You should read any 3-star review (click the title), because sometimes we do qualify those recommendations, meaning we were entertained, but it doesn’t mean that the film was that good.

4-star movies are highly recommended and films rated as 4 1/2 or 5 stars are must see.

  1. 1917 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️½ 
  2. Little Women ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  3. Uncut Gems ⭐️⭐️⭐️½
  4. Frozen II ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  5. Bad Boys For Life ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  6. The Last Full Measure ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  7. Bombshell ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  8. Like A Boss ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  9. Doolittle ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Happy movie watching!

Opening 1-23-2020 in Theaters: The Turning, The Gentlemen, The Last Full Measure

Wednesday, week #4 2020 (1/23-1/26/2020) as we inch closer to ending this doldrum month of January which has only produced a carryover hit from 2019 in the brilliant movie 1917⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️  and a few average and mostly worse new movies.

What do we have to look forward to this weekend? A horror movie based on a very, very old story, a crime action movie involving a bunch of weed (but starring Matthew McConaughey) and a film about the fight to bring medal recognition to a war hero.

The Turning

“The children are very special…” — The Tuning official trailer

The sound effects are about as weird as the children (what is up with the fish stomping scene?). The more I rewatch this trailer, the more interested I’m in it. This movie makes me think a little bit of John Saul, not the source material it’s based on. That part isn’t a compliment because Saul is sort of known as a popular horror novelist who used children frequently in his stories, but he wasn’t known among horror novel fans as a good very good writer. How does any of that relate to this trailer? It just reminds me of the type of story that Saul might have written, had he written the screenplay.

Anticipation: 4/10

The Gentlemen

The Gentlemen official trailer

Matthew McConaughey remains my single biggest interest in this film. I was reading an article the other day that talked about how some stars don’t draw people to movies and some do, well for me McConaughey is one of those above average actors I look forward to seeing on the screen. I’d put many other actors and actresses on this list. He’s never been amazingly good to me, but he’s been good enough, especially when he plays a lawyer (A Time To Kill), or any kind of law enforcement officer.

As I watch this trailer perhaps one last time before seeing this movie, I’m kind of underwhelmed by it all, if not for McConaughey. I hope he makes this interesting and entertaining. We’ll see.

Anticipation: 4/10

The Last Full Measure

This movie is the one I’m most interested in seeing. Argh, this is frustrating that it isn’t showing at the main independent theater or of course at Regal Cinemas. Maybe it will appear like Judy did, a couple weeks from now. I’m leaving it here for others.

Anticipation: 6/10

ANTICIPATION for Week #4: 1/23/20 MOVIES

How much on scale of 1-10 anticipating the 1-23-2020 movies? Those marked with asterisk are not available in our area this week, so will carryover in future weeks until available to watch in our area.

  1. *The Last Full Measure – 6/10
  2. The Gentlemen – 4/10
  3. The Turning – 4/10

Are there screenings in our area to see these movies?

Two of the three movies are wide screenings and available at theaters in our area so those will be watched, rated and reviewed. The Last Full Measure? Not sure when or if we’ll be able to watch that in the theater as of this writing.. Hope some of you can!

FIRST LOOK: The Turning

A trailer seemingly promising the least story-wise to offer of the three horror films being released in January (The Grudge, Gretel and Hansel and The Turning), we now know that The Grudge⭐️⭐️ is one of the worst reviewed horror films ever, giving this one a very low bar for success.

This is based on the famous ghost story, The Turning of the Screw by Henry James.

For more than 100 years, a deeply haunting tale has been passed down to terrify audiences. Next February, DreamWorks Pictures’ THE TURNING takes us to a mysterious estate in the Maine countryside, where newly appointed nanny Kate is charged with the care of two disturbed orphans, Flora and Miles. Quickly though, she discovers that both the children and the house are harboring dark secrets and things may not be as they appear.

Rotten Tomatoes movie info

Seriously, what’s with the bizarre fish stomping in the trailer?

The Turning official trailer

Spiders in the mouth is cliched but discomforting. Also, the fish stomper boy beating on the drums with the blank stare gets at least the one more WTF moment from the trailer viewer.

Really, I don’t know what to think of this movie. The story it’s based on is very old and good, so this has strong roots to grow from. Ghost stories are perhaps my least favorite horror subgenre, however, so my anticipation is limited. We’ll see what we get in a few weeks.

Are you looking forward to seeing in the theater, waiting for streaming or skipping?

The Turning opens wide in theaters January 24, 2020

11 Movies COMING TO THEATERS in January 2020

Coming to theaters in January 2020 – there are some films shown above not below and vice versa

The following are movie trailers and my early thoughts for all films tentatively scheduled coming to theaters in January 2020. If you’d like to see a list of all movies released in 2020 click here (that post is updated throughout the year).

The list below does not include independent films and/or streaming original films from Netflix and Amazon. I would like to keep track of those as well, but trying to target specifically wide theater releases (or what appear to be wide releases) so most readers can see these films worldwide in a major chain theater (hopefully) near your home. New streaming films being released will be handled separately based on the service, most likely, as already doing for Shudder.

SIDENOTE: I have nothing against small, independent theaters (we have a good one called The Grand Cinema close by), but am trying to focus on the films I have the greatest likelihood to see, review and rate each month. Obviously, with release schedules that change based on location, sharing any kind of coming soon movie list is not an exact science. Any errors and/or omissions are mine.

Movie release dates are subject to change by the studios, so it’s possible within the next 45 days or so one or more of the movies profiled below will have its release date moved.

As of this posting, there are 11 movies scheduled, presented in order of scheduled opening date below. 10 of the 11 have trailers, so I’ve added my anticipation (10 = most excited as possible to see, 0 = not interested at all). Can’t promise I’ll do this every month, but am going to try and do so, probably posted sometime around the middle of each month for the next month.

This is a reference for FIRST LOOK and PREVIEW posts. I try and FIRST LOOK and/or PREVIEW films that either we’re personally most interested in seeing and/or have very popular interest by others.

January 2020 Movies

The Grudge

The Grudge (2020) official trailer – opens January 3, 2020

This one looks like it might be scary. I’ve never seen any of the original Grudge movies and not sure I’ll be doing so before this comes out in a few weeks. I look more forward to seeing truly scary horror films over horror-comedy films and this looks like the former.

Anticipation for The Grudge: 6/10

Like A Boss

Like A Boss official trailer – opens in theaters January 10, 2020

Have seen this trailer as preview in the theater more than any other in this list of January 2020 movie releases. I’m sort of luke warm to cool on what’s happening here. I don’t find anything Tiffany Haddish has starred in as funny. Her voice is grating on me. The plot seems not very interesting to me either, what little we know from the trailer. The trailer didn’t even make me smile, although admittedly some have laughed at the goat milk spit out scene.

Anticipation for Like A Boss: 3/10


Underwater Official Trailer – opens in theater January 10, 2020

Got to wipe away Kirsten Stewart from my mind in Charlie’s Angels and any movie deep on the bottom of the ocean is off to a good start. We don’t know what is living down there and while this has been explored in several other stories, it’s an interesting and often scary place. All that pressure under miles of water. Yes, I’m interested.

Anticipation for Underwater: 6/10

The Informer
RELEASE DATE CHANGED from Jan 10, 2020 to March 13, 2020 (LIMITED)

The Informer official trailer – opens in theaters March 13, 2020

Seems like standard fare thriller from the trailer. Nothing stands out as super creative or amazingly fresh to me. Could be how the trailer is cut. Not that excited by this trailer.

Anticipation for The Informer: 2/10

Bad Boys for Life

Bad Boys for Life official trailer #1
Bad Boys for Life official trailer #2 – opens in theaters January 17, 2020

Will Smith and Martin Lawrence return as buddy cops for this third entry in the franchise. I found the first two to be funny in parts. They have good chemistry together, but aren’t as fun as say Nick Nolte and Eddie Murphy in 48 Hours. Haven’t been many buddy cop trilogies that I was clamoring to see the third one. Martin Lawrence is my favorite of the two by far in this comedy team. I just don’t find Will Smith that special. Yes, he has been in some good films.

Anticipation for Bad Boys for Life: 3/10


Doolittle official trailer – opens in theaters January 17, 2020

The trailer barely grabs my interest, except for the fact that Robert Downey, Jr is starring. Not sure about his accent, kinda reminds me a bit of the one he used in Tropic Thunder (!). He makes just about every film he is in better. I’m worried about this being a terrible and unnecessary reboot movie about a man who talks to animals. Have seen the story told several times before and Downey Jr. isn’t a comedian, so not sure if his potentially(?) serious/ironic take on Doctor Doolittle will be exciting. Very apprehensive about this one, but, again, interested because of the main star. I heard he was paid $20 million for top bill in this one. Will see next month if it was worth it. Worried.

Anticipation for Doolittle:: 3/10

The Gentlemen

The Gentlemen official trailer – opens in theaters January 24, 2020

Like the mystery/detective vibe, but wonder if it’s more thriller? Not feeling super compelled toward this one as a thriller, but more interested in a mystery. Can’t decide based on trailer which it is. Do like Matthew McConaughey, so that bumps up curiosity a little.

Anticipation for The Gentlemen: 3/10

The Turning

The Turning official trailer – opens in theaters January 24, 2020

January 2020 will be the first time I’ve ever paid that attention to everything being released. Already noticing that there are more horror movies being released than other types of movies. January could be an October-like month for me as I like horror movies. As for this one? Has a V.C Andrews groove to it. What’s with the children? Yeah, sign me up for this one!

Anticipation for The Turning: 5/10

Nowhere (trailer yet) to Run?

RELEASE DATE CHANGED from Jan 24 to May 8, 2020

…is a thriller starring Sarah Paulson and is scheduled to open in theaters January 24, 2020 (UPDATE 1/18/2020: Release date has changed to May 8, 2020). No official trailer has been released by Lionsgate as of this writing.

The mystery around an intentional lack of marketing (see: Is @Lionsgate Run (2020) screening WIDE January 24, 2020 – if not, when?) — or inferior/incompetent marketing, whichever it is — is increasing my intrigue. Seems like a trailer is pretty important for a movie that released in like 45 days. I mean, yesterday we got the Wonder Woman 1984 trailer and that isn’t out for another six plus months!

Can’t give any anticipation based on the trailer without one.

Gretel and Hansel

Gretel and Hansel official teaser trailer – opens in theaters January 31, 2020

Oooo another spooky one! Seems odd to title it backwards (do the kids eat the adults in this one? Now that sort of reverse cannibalism would make heads turn). If it’s pure horror and not comedy horror than it gets at least a 4 from me. Fairy tales can be cool, especially the grim variety. Will pump it up one more for that. Hoping it’s not too cliched, but fearing that almost as much as the potential subject matter.

Anticipation for Gretel and Hansel: 5/10

The Rhythm Section

The Rhythm Section official trailer – opens in theaters January 31, 2020

Read the FIRST LOOK that is linked above to see my detailed comments on this one. Of all 12 films being released in January 2020, I’m most looking forward to seeing this one.

Anticipation for The Rhythm Section: 7/10

Ranking the January 2020 movies by anticipation (as of this writing)

Keep in mind that my anticipation for a film can change daily, even hourly, based on new information that I read about the film or see in a video. Therefore, the anticipation is merely a number I’m applying to my feelings today, right now, and it is very subject to change. In the next post, tweet, video or an hour from now. Only here for comparison purposes as I do this with the Opening Week posts. Those numbers are within a couple days of seeing the movies.

  1. The Rhythm Section – 7 / 10
  2. Underwater – 6 / 10
  3. Gretel & Hansel – 5 / 10
  4. The Turning – 5 / 10
  5. Doolittle – 3 / 10
  6. The Gentlemen – 3 / 10
  7. The Grudge – 3 / 10
  8. Like A Boss – 3 / 10
  9. Bad Boys for Life – 3 / 10
  10. The Informer – 2 / 10 (release date changed to March 13, 2020)
  11. Run – No Rating (release date changed to May 8, 2020)

What movies in January 2020 are you looking forward to seeing?