Skip to content

The Banishing #MovieReview

The Banishing tells the story of the most haunted house in England. In the 1930s, a young reverend, his wife and daughter move into a manor with a horrifying secret.

The Banishing movie poster

Tagline: Some houses were never meant to be a home: Director: Christopher Smith | Writers: David BetonRay Bogdanovich | Starring: Jessica Brown FindlaySean HarrisJohn Lynch | Release Year: 2021 | Runtime: 1 hr 37 min | Genres: Horror, Thriller | Source: Publicist

Page break indicator for Sci-Fi & Scary

The Banishing Review

Right, let’s get this out of the way immediately: I am not the person that originally accepted this screener for review. It was supposed to be Sam. However, due to a bit of weirdness with Shudder screeners, I ended up watching it to make sure it got coverage even though the time period is not a favorite, nor are movies where religious figures are predominant. (I think as an Atheist I’m afraid I’ll burst into flames if I hear too much preaching!)

Now, with my biases laid on the table, let me be clear that even with these acknowledged issues… this movie did not horribly suck. It didn’t wow me, but it did not suck. In fact, there were things about the end that I rather liked, but I can’t go into too much detail because it’d be a spoiler. Hmph. Such is life.

Alright, diving into The Banishing.

Jessica Brown Findlay (Marianne), Sean Harris (Harry), and John Lynch (Malachi) all brought solid game to the table.

Findlay reminds me both in looks and poise of Morena Baccarin. Her character was, without a doubt, my favorite. Where one would expect her to bend, she stood tall. Even though we learn that the situation that led to her marrying Harry was a bit unusual, she does not kowtow to him. Marianne is no delicate flower, even when faced with the expectations of being a Vicar’s wife.

I sincerely wanted to reach through the screen and poke Harry several times and tell him to stop being such a pussy. However, watching his character arc from prissy self-righteous snot to the man we see at the end was nice. It felt like, though the character had been a Missionary, he had never encountered anything which truly made him test his faith and beliefs before. This test shaped him for the better.

John Lynch’s Malachi oozed danger and charisma. He fit my image of a higher-up in the Church perfectly, and reminded me a bit of Colin Farrell. I wanted to punch him basically every time he was on the screen, but have to acknowledge he played his part perfectly.

Overall, the acting was solid; however; the story left a lot to be desired. For the most part, The Banishing is a paint-by-numbers bit of a plod. It generally failed to arouse any feelings of even basic trepidation, and there were only a few points where I perked up by seeing the potential in certain scenes. Potential that was never fulfilled. Given how many notes this film hit nicely (set, lighting, camerawork), it was a bit sad to see it stumble in the most basic area.

I was annoyed by the fact that this movie sets itself up to be truly scary by saying it’s set in the most haunted house in England, but then played things so calm that I often could lose sight of the fact that I was supposed to be watching a horror movie and felt more like I was watching a dark drama. It did not meet, or even come close to meeting, the expectations set by it’s advertising.

The Banishing is a story of wrong done to a woman and her child, set in a church/parish, filled with anger and loss but somehow it neatly avoids the dramatic ending one might expect with the religious trappings and instead ends on a unexpected note that caught me by surprise in the best of ways.

The Banishing is now available on Shudder.

Published inMovie ReviewsUnstarred Reviews

Be First to Comment

What are your thoughts?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

©Sci-Fi & Scary 2019
%d bloggers like this: