The Secret of Crickley Hall is a new take on the classic ghost story in the same way that his bestseller Once was a new take on the classic fairy tale.
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Based on the thriller by James Herbert, The Secret of Crickley Hall falls short on chills and fails to leave a strong impression -- until its final act.
True, there’s something extra scary about seeing a ghost-like child etched in the pane of a second-story window or running up a long staircase. When we rejoin Gabe and Eve Caleigh, they’re headed out of London to spend time in a country home with daughters Loren (Maisie Williams) and Cally (Pixie Davies). Soon after arriving at Crickley Hall, the family is greeted by Percy Judd (David Warner), the hall’s former groundskeeper. When she asks the reverend about the grave markers, he replies simply that there was a flashflood that year that killed dozens. The series’ three episodes feature plenty of scenes with weird little ghosts and scary forces that have the power to hurt living humans from beyond the grave.
Frankly, the series would be better off if there wasn’t any aspect of the story taking place in the present day. Gabe has brought his wife, Eve, and daughters, Loren and Cally, down to Devon, to the peaceful seaside village of Hollow Bay.
For some reason, filmmakers think that their audience will be all the more creeped out if the ones doing the haunting are young and innocent. Mother and son play for a bit, but mom is too tired to keep going and sits down on a bench to take a breather.
The idea is that getting out of London will snap Eve out of her funk and encourage her to let go of Cam.

There they meet Reverend Andrew (Nick Sidi), who assures them that anything Percy has told them is utterly false. Where a cellar door you know you locked the night before is always open the following morning? Once the bones of eaten victims were found, it became apparent that London was being overrun by these large rodents with sharp teeth. Some of the children are persecuted by the people who run the home and have found places between the floors and walls of the home to avoid the adults. When the Caleigh family moves into the titular home, it seems like it will be the perfect place to forget the disappearance of their youngest member, Cam (Elliot Kerley). It’s a problem of narrative weakness that runs throughout the series and undermines its ability to leave a strong impression on the viewer.
Eve dozes off for just a few minutes, snapping awake to find that Cam doesn’t seem to be anywhere near the park.
While Warner gives a great performance throughout the series, moments like this tend to be ham-handed.
Eve doesn’t quite seem to believe the reverend, becoming even more suspicious when she finds dozens of headstones marked with the year 1943. It’s not until Eve talks with Percy about it later that she discovers that the bodies of two of the orphans were never found. Instead, the viewer is forced to realize that Cam disappeared because his mother was a little bit negligent. She’s quickly disqualified by Gordon Pyke (Donald Sumpter), a parapscyhologist whose real identity will be immediately apparent to most viewers.
A bit of historical context would have gone a long way towards making this series more meaningful.
Dorothy loves talking about crime on television, Homicide: Life on the Streets and John Steinbeck.

Several of his works were adapted to film and his novel The Secret of Crickley Hall was recently made into a BBC One serial on television.
Humans and rats have been enemies for millions of years, but only now have rats gained the upper hand. But Gabe (Tom Ellis) and his wife Eve (Suranne Jones) quickly discover that there’s something sinister lurking in the shadows of Crickley Hall. There’s just too much melodrama for us to focus on what really happened to these spooky orphans. In these scenes we meet menacing August Cribben (Douglas Henshall), the former headmaster of the orphanage. Set again the story’s other heroine, orphanage teacher Nancy (Olivia Cooke), Eve becomes a lot less lovable. The novel was adapted to film in 1982 as Deadly Eyes (which is also an alternate title of the novel). Registered address: The Book People Limited, Catteshall Manor, Catteshall Lane,Godalming, Surrey, GU7 1UU.
It’s only right that Cam, whom we see for just a few minutes, should drive the action. In addition to writing his novels, Herbert also designed his own book covers and publicity. With brooding menace and rising tension, he masterfully and relentlessly draws the reader through to the ultimate revelation - one that will stay to chill the mind long after the book has been laid aside.

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