My Cousin Rachel (2017)

(Video on-Demand, September 2017) Everything old can be new again, and so it’s not a bad idea to dig up some of Daphne Du Maurier’s Gothic romances as inspiration for movies that set themselves apart from the usual cut-and-dried psycho-killer thriller swill that we see too often today. My Cousin Rachel is a thriller told in suspicions, the viewer going back and forth in believing that a character is out to murder our protagonist. Rachel Weisz is very good as the titular Rachel, keeping us unsettled throughout the film and being able to play menacing or charming at rapid intervals. She makes Sam Claflin look pedestrian in what is supposed to be the protagonist’s role. The production values are high, as we spend a lot of time on a credibly recreated 19th-century British estate. My Cousin Rachel is not a fast-paced film, but it does well in taking its time to present us with an unfolding subtle story. The ending hits harder than it should. It’s the perfect kind of film to watch on a cozy snowy evening.

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