Netflix’s suspenseful ‘Rebecca’ still won’t be this Halloween’s favorite

The suspense and plot twists of Mrs. de Winter trying to escape her new husband's dead wife, while not that well-acted, are still just in time for Halloween. (Illustration by Casper Savoie)
Netflix’s “Rebecca” remake tells the mildly-entertaining, suspenseful story of a poor and innocent girl swept away to the English countryside by a handsome debonair, but it doesn’t hold a single candle to the original 1940 adaption. 

When they arrive at the man’s lavish estate, Manderley, she’s quick to realize that her lover and his mansion comes with an unrelenting presence of his deceased first wife, Rebecca. 

It’s not the worst remake of a film directed by the master of suspense, Alfred Hitchcock. The legendary director’s version won the Academy Award for best picture. Both “Rebecca” adaptations are based on the bestselling book of the same name written by Daphne du Maurier. 

The almost-nameless, naïve heroine Mrs. de Winter, and the mysterious and sophisticated widow Maxim de Winter meet in a colorful Monte Carlo hotel. The two characters, played by Lily Janes and Armie Hammer, go on dates and hide from James’ character’s obnoxious boss, played by the incomparable Ann Dowd. The short-time lovers decide to marry and live in his fancy estate. 

When the newlyweds arrive from their European honeymoon to the cold English countryside estate, things go downhill. We meet the terrifying Mrs. Danvers, the house manager played by Kristen Scott Thomas. 

Mrs. de Winter tries to learn more about this mysterious Rebecca through the obsessed Mrs. Danvers, other staff, and an evasive Maxim. All she knows is that she died, but it becomes clear someone or something in the house doesn’t want Rebecca to be replaced. 

If you don’t consider the movie’s previous cinematic telling, it’s easily entertaining. But compared to the original, there’s no contest; Hitchcock’s version is better. 

The acting wasn’t outstanding, but I must admit Collin and Hammer had strong chemistry. The film’s story covered up the mediocre acting. If the story and plot are good, then you easily make an entertaining movie enjoyable to a mass audience. 

I loved the varying color palettes, from a  bright, cheery hotel in one of France’s famous coastal cities to the dreary countryside with grey and green tones. It’s a visual that works well especially in suspenseful films. You are supposed to feel happy and watch these two people fall in love. Then in a quick edit, the dreary gothic look creates anxiety.  

I would recommend watching this because it’s the season of Halloween, and there is nothing more spooky than a thrilling and haunting story. It also has lots of twists and turns you might not see coming.

About Author

Jordan Jones was hired as the Culture reporter for the Mesa Legend in January of 2020. She is in her second semester at MCC, and she plans to transfer to ASU and get an Interdisciplinary Studies degree in Film Study and Art History. With her degrees and passion for cinema, Jordan intends to become a film archivist.

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