In early March 2016, a modern film adaptation of James' 1898 horror literary classic, then entitled Haunted, first entered development as a passion project for Steven Spielberg as he wanted to be involved in a horror film again. Ultimately, Spielberg backed out as director and remained as an executive producer instead. Ultimately, Juan Carlos Fresnadillo was hired to direct, with a script penned by the Hayes Brothers. By August, Alfre Woodard and Rose Leslie were cast. In late September, five weeks before filming was set to begin, Spielberg personally pulled the plug on the project because Scott Z. Burns' page-one rewrite caused seismic changes in the story's fabric, altering characters, action, and even the title, and it no longer resembled the project the studio had signed on to make. Spielberg and DreamWorks decided the best course of action was to fire Fresnadillo and Burns, and resume using Hayes' original script, looking to start fresh development with a new director despite $5 million having been spent of the $17 million budget. In late August 2017, Deadline reported that Amblin Entertainment had set Floria Sigismondi to direct the film, now entitled The Turning, with a new draft rewritten by Jade Bartlett. Production was expected to start in early 2018. By mid February, Mackenzie Davis, Finn Wolfhard, Brooklynn Prince, Joely Richardson, Barbara Marten, Niall Greig Fulton, and Denna Thomsen were cast. At the same time, principal photography finally commenced, and wrapped in early April. Filming took place at Killruddery House in County Wicklow, Ireland. Universal Pictures had originally scheduled the film for a February 22, 2019 release date. However, in September, the film was moved back to January 24, 2020.
The film stars Davis, Wolfhard, Prince, Richardson, Marten, Fulton, and Thomsen. Looking terrified and insane is really all that's required in the Hayes Brother's inane script. The cast are basically helpless with this.
When you're not yawning at the digital ghosts, you're watching a cast of fine actors dogpaddling in cliches and terrible dialogue. The people who made this movie forgot one simple rule of horror: It is what we don't know, and what we cannot see that leaves us quaking in our boots. Most of the blame for this butchery goes to Sigismondi, who shows less interest in relating a simple haunted-house story than in engineering a theme-park ride of pure overkill. This all-flash, no-substance--and no scare--thriller is a textbook example of soulless, money-burning Hollywood hype products.
Simon says The Turning receives: