Directed by Ben Wheatley and starring Lily James, Armie Hammer and Kristin Scott Thomas, this film started streaming on Netflix from Wednesday. Witten by Daphne du Maurier, the Gothic novel “Rebecca” has seen multiple screen adaptations but the director of the latest film version believes this may be the closest to the 1938 book.
The thriller about a young, naive woman who marries an older aristocrat but finds herself in the shadow of his late wife, Rebecca, was an Oscar best picture winner for director Alfred Hitchcock in 1940, starring Laurence Olivier and Joan Fontaine. But the ending of the book was changed. Whatever Netflix and director Ben Wheatley do with this adaptation, it’s got big shoes to fill from Hollywood’s golden age.
It might require some suspension of disbelief to buy the drop-dead gorgeous Lily James as a plain, timid protagonist, and it’ll be interesting to see Armie Hammer try to play mysterious rather than a himbo. But the spooky subject matter and escapist set dressing makes it a perfect binge-watch for a quarantine night in. And the plot twists are sure to keep you just as haunted as any ghost story.