Based on true events and taking place in August, 1977, The Enfield Haunting is Sky Living's brand new horror series featuring an all-star cast of British actors brave enough to take on the script and deliver some stellar performances.
Timothy Spall stars as paranormal investigator Maurice Grosse, called out to a family in need when the children of the house and their mother experience some strange and otherworldly goings on. It doesn't take long for the scares to start coming, and one moment in particular where young Janet Hodgson (Eleanor Worthington-Cox) looks down a camera to see something terrifying had me almost jumping out of my seat.
Picked up by the local media, the family are all excited by their little burst of fame despite the situation they've found themselves in, instantly casting doubt on whether or not what they're going through is entirely believable, or instead self-inflicted. When Maurice sees a teapot move its way off the table and shatter however, some doubts seem to disappear.
Matthew Macfadyen joins the episode around 30 minutes in as Guy Lyon Playfair - a compelling character and charming gentleman who discovered the story in the papers and immediately claims he's on the scene to help the investigation. Macfadyen is perfect in the role and even a little sinister as his true intentions are revealed.
Worthington-Cox is brilliant at playing a young girl fascinated in things that most little girls couldn't care less about. She's drawn to graveyards, stories about the war and convinced that the poltergeist in her house is intent on hurting her. At school she's bullied, and though she could at one time rely on her sister Margaret (Fern Deacon) to keep her safe, her starring moment in the paper put all that to an end. It's a subtle sisterly rivalry when the two are likely to need each other the most.
It's clear to see why Spall at first turned down this show. He found it "disturbing" and said when reading the script, the hairs on his neck were stood on end. In its first episode, The Enfield Haunting manages to balance drama, fright and progression very well, opening the doors just enough for viewers to come back for parts two and three. From here we imagine the horror is only going to ramp up, and we'll make sure to have the pillows handy to hide behind for next week's offering.
The Enfield Haunting continues on Sunday, 9pm on Sky Living.