Carmilla review – blood lust and mystery mark a superior gothic drama

An atmospheric gothic-tinged period drama, this adaptation of an 1872 novella by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu flirts with vampiric blood lust but is most satisfying when it delves into the superstition and repression that squeeze the breath out of life for young women like Lara (Hannah Rae) and her uptight governess Miss Fontaine (Jessica Raine). When Carmilla (Devrim Lingnau), a mysterious young woman injured in a carriage crash, joins the household, she unleashes something that could be evil, or could just be female sexuality. But in the eyes of Miss Fontaine and the rural community, the two are pretty much interchangeable. Earthy candlelit interiors and closeups of squirming bugs play tricks on the audience – we are not quite sure whether we are watching something budding or decaying as Lara falls deeper into Carmilla’s thrall.

In cinemas

The Guardian

Leave a Reply