BBC Ghost Stories: A View From a Hill / Number 13 DVD
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Produced in 2006
Main Language - English
Countries & Regions - British Film
Contemporary Drama • Contemporary Period, Costume, Historical Film • Contemporary Horror Film • Contemporary British Film • Television Drama • Period, Costume & Historical Television • British Television • Supernatural Horror • Contemporary British Film
When the final instalment of the BBC series A Ghost Story for Christmas was broadcast in 1978, that initially seemed to be that. However, following the success of DVD revivals and a repeat run in 2004, BBC4 commissioned two brand new ghost stories. Aside from their widescreen framing, it's as if they never went away: indeed, the use of two previously unfilmed M.R. James stories as source material brought things right back to basics.
A View from a Hill (2005) takes a classic James scenario (a pair of antique binoculars shows more than their user bargained for) and exploits it to the full: the comparison between actual and binocular views is ideally suited to showing fleeting glimpses of shadowy things lurking at the corner of the frame. In Number 13 (2006), the ghostly object is an entire hotel room, notionally non-existent (in the corridor, the sequence superstitiously jumps from 12 to 14), but all too horribly vivid, especially when number 12's notionally sceptical occupant is kept awake by noises emanating from next door…
Michael Brooke on 19th September 2012
Author of 153 reviews
Volume 5 of the BFI's Ghost Stories from the BBC contains two later entries in the series, View from a Hill (Watson, 2005) and Number 13 (Wilkie, 2006).
As a Christmas treat in the late 1960s and 70s, the BBC produced adaptations of ghost stories based on the works of MR James, the Cambridge academic and author of some of the most spine-tingling tales in the English language, which were broadcast to terrified viewers in the dead of winter. This was a tradition that was briefly revived by the BBC between 2005 and 2010.
This final collection in the BFI's series includes two more recent MR James adaptations; A View From a Hill (2005) and Number 13 (2006). Both were screened to acclaim from critics and fans, and are perfect complements to the vintage BBC Christmas Ghost Story productions. In A View from a Hill, a young man borrows a pair of bewitched binoculars which seem to show things that can only be seen with a dead man's eyes, while Number 13 finds an academic kept awake at night in a hotel from the room next door - which is no longer there in daylight.
Length: 80 mins
Aspect ratio: 1.78:1
Format: DVD Colour
Released: 29th October 2012
Cat No: BFIVD963
- Ghost Stories for Christmas with Christopher Lee - Number 13 by MR James (Eleanor Yule, 2000)
- Illustrated Booklet.