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Recent video releases for April

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NEW YORK — The following are capsule reviews from Catholic News Service of new and recent video releases available on DVD and/or Blu-ray — as well as for online viewing. Theatrical movies have a Catholic News Service classification and Motion Picture Association rating. These classifications refer only to the theatrical version of the films below, and do not take into account any extra content.


Secret Ceremony (1968)


Morbid, disquieting melodrama about the unhealthy relationship between a middle-aged prostitute (Elizabeth Taylor) and a developmentally disabled girl (Mia Farrow) who, though they need help, cannot help each other.


Watch out for: Directed by Joseph Losey, its story has a heavy touch of madness, incest, suicide and sexual shenanigans introduced by Robert Mitchum's uninvited presence.


Rated: L, limited adult audience, films whose problematic content many adults would find troubling; MPAA:  R. (KL Studio Classics; also available on Blu-ray)


The Turning (2020)


Director Floria Sigismondi's loose, updated adaptation of Henry James' classic 1898 novella-length horror story "The Turn of the Screw" provides the occasional jolt on the way to a thoroughly incoherent ending. A newly hired live-in nanny (Mackenzie Davis) at an isolated country mansion presided over by an austere housekeeper (Barbara Marten) is gradually unnerved by the sinister behavior of her initially endearing young charge (Brooklynn Prince) and of the girl's sullen, aggressive older brother (Finn Wolfhard). Is the manor haunted? Is the lad possessed? Or is the protagonist going mad? While James keeps readers on a knife edge with alternative possibilities, screenwriters (and brothers) Chad and Carey W. Hayes can't seem to decide what direction their script should adopt, so they wind up veering all over the place. Since one of the possible ghosts had a taste for sadistic sex and a character meets a briefly glimpsed bloody death, their film is strictly for grown-ups.


Watch out for: Some violence with momentary gore, occult and mature themes, including aberrant sexuality, an image of rear nudity, partial upper nudity, at least one profanity and a milder oath, a single rough and a couple of crude terms. Spanish language and titles options.


Rated: A-III, adults; MPAA: PG-13. (Universal Studios Home Entertainment; also available on Blu-ray)



© Arlington Catholic Herald 2020