I love Gothic horror and while Daphne Du Maurier’s My Cousin Rachel is exactly that, it’s not something that will win new fans to the genre. Find out why by reading my full review at Substream Magazine!
My Cousin Rachel is a film that aims to recreate the grim themes and mysterious atmosphere of a traditional Gothic story. It opens with Phillip (Sam Claflin), our protagonist, explaining that he was orphaned young so that Ambrose, an older cousin, took him in and raised him in a house of only men. In Phillip’s early twenties, Ambrose takes ill and goes to Italy to convalesce, and there he meets their cousin, Rachel (Rachel Weisz). Through their regular correspondence, Phillip learns that Ambrose and Rachel have married and that his cousin’s health has severely declined. When Phillip receives a letter claiming Rachel is the cause of Ambrose’ illness, he goes to Italy and discovers that Ambrose is dead. He returns home to mourn, only to find Rachel on his doorstep a few days later. All of this happens in the first thirty minutes or so of the film; it is only when Rachel arrives that the true story begins.