Trailer Review: Rebecca (2020)
Updated: Sep 11, 2020
Ben Wheatly's film has a lot to live up to.
Daphne du Maurnier's classic Gothic novel was immortalized on film by Alfred Hitchcock in the film of the same name. Winning several Oscars and cementing Hitchcock's repuatation, it was also the film which paved his way to Hollywood - leading to "The American Years", as they are called.
No one has dared touch the story since then until now. (Though there are some made-for-tv iterations and a fun 1964 Bollywood remake called Kohra).
Ben Whitley's remake arrives on Netflix in October and if the trailer and the poster is any indication (and why shouldn't they be?), it looks like a rather bland cookie cutter.
The atmosphere at which the book and the older version thrived on seems to have been replaced by limp "look" as most Netflix productions have. It also seems like a pretty honest remake unless Wheatley has set a new sting in the tail.
A lady's companion is swept off her feet to a palatial mansion by a rich and mysterious man. Only to receive a steely welcome from his sinister housekeeper and the ghostly presence of his first wife, who dies mysteriously.
Armie Hammer (Call Me By Your Name) and Lily James (Cinderella) are both well cast. He has the handsome and brooding quality required for the role and she can do naive innocence to perfection, but something tells me that Scott Thomas is going to chew the scenery and spit it back at their young & beautiful faces.
Whitley has an idiosyncratic resume and has done well in horror. His Kill List is regarded by many to be one of the creepiest modern horror films and A Field in England juggled its many genres very well, so I am not losing hope and look forward to see what he does with this material.