The Turning Meaning Movie & Analysis

The Meaning Of The Movie The Turning: Explanation, Plot Summary. In 2020, the film The Turning by Canadian director Floria Sigismondi was born. It would seem that this is an ordinary horror film, full of tickling nerves moments. However, the meaning of the film The Turning is deeper and it is not easy to discern it at once. Only an attentive viewer will be able to unravel the main mystery of the masterpiece.


Before analyzing the meaning of the film The Turning, let’s recall its plot.

Young teacher Kate got a job as a governess to a 7-year-old girl whose parents had died. Before leaving, the girl says goodbye to her friend and visits her mother in a mental hospital.

Upon arrival at a new place of work, she sees a chic mansion, almost a castle, with a large garden, a pond and hedge labyrinths.

The heroine meets the housekeeper, Mrs. Grose, and the pupil Flora. The girl is cheerful, sociable, enjoys a new acquaintance.

Closing the window in the nursery at night, Kate sees the reflection of the ghost of a blonde girl.

At night, having decided to take a walk through the expanses of the mansion, the governess stumbles upon several more incomprehensible phenomena: strange sounds from the corridor, a window suddenly opening, a mannequin moving its head, a sewing machine turning on by itself, Flora’s pale-faced older brother, Miles, who appeared out of nowhere.

On a note! The Babysitter is the twelfth film adaptation of Henry James’ novel The Turn of the Screw.

The next morning, Kate meets Miles and learns from the principal that the boy has been expelled. He attacked a classmate. Relations with Miles did not work out right away. The teenager does not want to clean up the dishes, throws the ball at the wall, does not want to obey the new nanny.

At night, the children play a prank on Kate – they throw a dead grandmother’s mannequin into the pool. After jumping into the water, the frightened governess reprimands the pupils for a cruel joke.

The next day, Kate invites the kids to go to town. Before the gate, Flora asks to stop the car, but the nanny does not immediately comply with her request. The girl runs home in horror. After Miles’ unflattering remarks about the nanny act, Kate decides to leave. On the way to the city, he changes his mind and returns to the estate.


Kate again tries to build a relationship with the children, but Miles does not make contact.

Mrs Grose reveals that Miles was badly influenced by Quint, the deceased manager of the house. He drank with a teenager, molested Miss Jessle, Flora’s former nanny, mocked her.

At night, Kate again has nightmares. In the morning, children offer to play hide-and-seek with a flashlight. The heroine finds Flora quickly, she follows Miles to the basement, where there is a lot of furniture and old dolls. After a long search, the governess, frightened by the terrifying atmosphere of the house, goes upstairs with blood under her nose – Miles finds himself next to his sister and Mrs. Grose. Kate scolds the boy for his antics, Mrs Grose defends him.

Kate sees the ghosts of the former nanny and Quint everywhere. After another terrifying night, The Turning receives a letter from her mother with black drawings. Then her mother calls her and asks for help. Kate runs away from the mansion, at the pond someone grabs her by the leg and drags her away. At the bottom, she finds Jessle, who was drowned by Quint. The Turning comes out of the water, goes to the house to save the children, takes them away from the house.

In front of the audience again is the scene of Kate reading a letter from her mother. The girl goes to the children, shakes Flora and asks her about Quint’s ghost. Wards can not answer anything – they did not see the ghost. Kate falls to the floor – through her wide eyes, the scene of a meeting with her mother is shown. At the end of the film, during the credits, someone runs their hand over the paintings in the house.

Plot Explanation

When you first watch the horror movie The Turning, 2020, the meaning does not immediately reach the viewer. There are many creepy moments in the horror film, there is a mystery, but there is no final clue. Does the director really give the viewer complete freedom to interpret the idea of ​​the picture?

The solution is easier to find if you transfer the plot to paper. It immediately turns out that there are not so many scary scenes in the drama. It turns out that the whole effect of the horrors of The Turning is created only due to the musical accompaniment and the expression of fear on the face of the main character. And what is behind this? The drama, the real drama, is not Flora and Miles’ families, but Kate herself.

The girl’s father left her mother when Kate was still a child. The mother went crazy. All this affected the formation of the personality of the heroine. The girl is smiling, polite, but at the same time too bold, nervous and impressionable. Once in favorable conditions for the manifestation of mental abnormalities that are inherited, the heroine, at her own suggestion, gradually goes crazy.

Kate from the very beginning tries to find something unusual in the mansion and with quiet joy states the fact that there are all the details with meaning from famous horror films:

  • a mysterious housekeeper with the face of a dead man;
  • long-haired cute girl;
  • a strange white-faced youth;
  • parents who died at the very gates, the deceased manager;
  • missing nanny;
  • home interior and exterior items: mirrors, paintings, numerous mannequins and dolls, statues, hedge labyrinths;
  • diary of a former nanny, photographs;
  • the mysterious east wing of the mansion, where no one in the household goes.

Oddly enough, Kate is not afraid to walk around the scary house, rarely turns on the light. It is usually difficult for the heroes of standard horror films to get out of ill-fated places – the heroine of The Turning calmly left the gates of the estate and was already halfway to the house. The girl had the opportunity to leave the “terrible” mansion forever, but she found herself an excuse to stay.

On a note! The meaning of the film The Turning helps to understand the title of the novel by G. James “The Turn of the Screw”, which formed the basis of the plot. The English title of the drama “Turning” is also translated as “turn”, “break”. It hints at the opposite of the standard view of horror films.

All paranormal phenomena in the film can be explained by Kate’s fantasies:

  • The ghost of Jessle appeared in the head of the governess even before she arrived at the house. She knew that the former nanny suddenly left Flora. The mysterious story of her disappearance already then began to emerge in the head of an impressionable girl. And over time, when Kate found out about Quint, she began to see his ghost.
  • The mechanism of a sewing machine that suddenly turned on could accidentally be hooked by The Turning herself – she turned off the device with one movement of her foot.
  • Strange sounds, an open window and intimidation of a girl while playing hide and seek are the tricks of Miles, who does not like The Turning

Terrible dreams are also nothing more than a figment of the main character’s fantasy. They are not interconnected and are chaotic.

Kate imagined the murder of the former nanny and the scene of saving the children from the ghosts. In fact, the only creature from which children need to be saved is herself.

What is the essence of the ending

The meaning of the ending of The Turning (2020) is as follows: sitting on the stairs, Kate realizes that she is going crazy. This is evidenced by the scene of a meeting with her mother at the bottom of the pool – the heroine understands that she herself has become the same as her mother. Hence the cry, physical and mental, – that terrible thing happened, which Kate was so afraid of. Further, confirmation of the dramatic meaning of the ending of the film The Turning is shown – the smooth groping of the paintings by the governess, resigned to her position.

The drama “Turning” is unusual, even original. It is not so much horror as life psychology. There is no single interpretation of the meaning of the film The Turning. But this is more of an advantage than a disadvantage.

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