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Why The Innocents Is The Best Scary Movie To Watch This Halloween

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Filmmaker Daniel Noah currently has two very different films in theaters. His second movie as writer-director, Max Rose, stars Hollywood legend Jerry Lewis as a musician attempting to unravel a mystery concerning his recently deceased wife of 65 years. Meanwhile, Noah’s latest film as producer, director Jim Hosking’s horror-comedy The Greasy Strangler, stars Michael St. Michaels as the titular homicidal maniac, a naked monstrosity with an outsized penis.

Noah oversaw the latter in cahoots with Elijah Wood and Josh C. Waller, his partners in the indie-horror production company SpectreVision, among others. He says even he didn’t understand fully this incredibly bizarre project until it premiered at this year’s Sundance Festival. “I will say, of the films that we’ve made, this is the only one where I truly had no idea what the movie was going to be until we saw it at Sundance,” he says. “That was the first time that I fully understood what the film was.”

So, what does Noah recommend EW readers check out this Halloween? The answer is 1961’s The Innocents, which stars Deborah Kerr as a woman who makes the terrible mistake of becoming governess to two children at an English manor house.

“It’s a Jack Clayton adaptation of Turn of the Screw,” says Noah. “To me, it exemplifies everything that horror can do in terms of it being so elevated. It’s elegant, it’s feminine, it’s emotional, it’s literary, it’s haunting, it’s sad, it’s unsettling. To me, it almost belongs in a museum. It’s beautifully designed in every way — the costumes, the sets, the photography, the music.”

You can see the trailer for The Innocents, below.