‘Come take your place in the circle… if you dare!’
Full Circle is a 1977 British-Canadian horror film directed by Richard Loncraine (Brimstone & Treacle) from a screenplay by Dave Humphries, based on a storyline by Harry Bromley Davenport (Xtro and sequel; Whispers of Fear), adapted from the novel Julia by Peter Straub (Ghost Story). It stars Mia Farrow, Keir Dullea and Tom Conti.
The film was belatedly released in the US by Discovery Films in May 1981 as The Haunting of Julia.
Julia Lofting (Mia Farrow), her husband Magnus (Keir Dullea), and daughter Kate (Sophie Ward) sit down to breakfast and Kate starts to choke on an apple. When the apple refuses to dislodge, Julia frantically reaches for a knife and tries to perform a tracheotomy. Kate bleeds to death.
Julia subsequently leaves her husband and moves to an old house in Holland Park. A room upstairs has a child’s possessions in it. As she unpacks, she finds her dead daughter’s clown doll with sharp, clanking cymbals and accidentally cuts her finger on them.
In a nearby park, Julia thinks she sees Kate, but the girl disappears. She hears strange noises in her house, blaming them on Magnus, who she believes is spying on her. The child’s possessions in the room cannot be photographed. A radiator in the house mysteriously turns on by itself. Later, Julia sees the girl in the park again, but finds a mutilated turtle and a knife where she stood.
Her sister-in-law Lily asks if her friends can use her house to conduct a seance. The medium, Mrs. Fludd, explains that spirits need to control someone to carry out physical acts. During the seance, she tells Julia to leave the house immediately. Moments later, one of Lily’s friends, Miss Pinner, falls down the stairs…
“The Haunting of Julia, though frequently creepy, is a slow burn for sure. It provides no easy answers to the question of whether supernatural events are actually occurring. The ending is one of the most achingly beautiful and depressing of all-time.” Ryan Clark, Thrill Me!
” …after a rather lugubrious first half loaded with very loud echoes of Don’t Look Now, the picture accelerates into some highly involved plotting and has its fair share of nasty moments […] But the elegiac atmosphere Loncraine conjures up elsewhere is almost tangible.” Jonathan Rigby, English Gothic
“…a powerful and moving performance by Mia Farrow, the growing sense of unease that envelops the characters, a stunning score and a final scene that can raise where you were unaware you had hairs.” John Hamilton, X-Cert 2
“This film is one of the creepiest haunted house films of all time, despite a major flaw that shorts it out of perfection.” Charles Tatum’s Review Archive
“Glossy camerawork and mannered direction are unable to lend much tension or credibility to the tale…” Phil Hardy (editor), The Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Horror
Cast and characters:
- Mia Farrow as Julia Lofting – See No Evil; Rosemary’s Baby
- Keir Dullea as Magnus Lofting – Blind Date; BrainWaves; Black Christmas
- Tom Conti as Mark Berkeley
- Jill Bennett as Lily Lofting
- Robin Gammell as David Swift
- Cathleen Nesbitt as Heather Rudge
- Anna Wing as Rosa Flood
- Edward Hardwicke as Captain Paul Winter
- Mary Morris as Greta Braden
- Pauline Jameson as Claudia Branscombe
- Arthur Howard as Piggott
- Peter Sallis as Jeffrey Branscombe + The Night Digger; Taste the Blood of Dracula; Scream and Scream Again
- Damaris Hayman as Miss Pinner
- Sophie Ward as Kate Lofting
- Hilda Fenemore as Katherine
- Nigel Havers as Estate Agent
- Samantha Gates as Olivia Rudge
- Denis Lill as Doctor
- Julian Fellowes as Library Assistant
- Michael Bilton as Salesman
- Yvonne Edgell as Mrs Flood’s Niece
- Robert Farrant as Receptionist
- Oliver Maguire as Nurse
- Susan Porrett as Mrs Ward
- John A. Tinn as Customer
- Elizabeth Weaver as Mother in Showroom
British Museum, Bloomsbury, London, England, UK
3 Holland Park, Kensington, London, England, UK – Julia’s house
Holland House, Holland Park, Kensington, London, England UK
Lord Holland’s Statue, Holland Park, Kensington, London, England, UK
Russell Square, Bloomsbury, London, England, UK – Julia exits Landrover
Cruciform Building, University College Hospital, Gower Street, London, England, UK