We need more directors willing to take risks with films like Get Out.
There is a darkness in a lot of British children's fiction, from Roald Dahl to Harry Potter, and it provides both scariness and relief: The happy endings are arrived at via many close calls. Consider "Nanny McPhee," named for a governess who seems closer to Mrs. Doubtfire than Mary Poppins. Garbed in a black dress that looks stuffed with flour sacks, she has warts on her face, fire in her eyes and a walking stick that sends off sparks when she slams it on the cobblestones, which is a lot.
Nanny McPhee (Emma Thompson) is the 18th governess employed in the Brown household after the death of his wife left Cedric Brown (Colin Firth) to rear seven children on his own. These children, who seem to have been born within about eight years of one another, are a lawless tribe dedicated to driving away nannies, and we see several of them fleeing the house, one of them screaming, "They've eaten the baby!"
Cedric starts getting mysterious messages: "What you need is Nanny McPhee." They are followed by Nanny herself, a formidable and foreboding presence who seems to command magical powers and quickly whips the children into shape. She has a set of rules for them to learn, and a frown that terrifies them, and soon all is peaceful (or perhaps apprehensive), even at bedtime in the dormitory room the kids all share.
The Browns inhabit a big old country house with countless architectural grotesqueries and lots of gardens and staircases; only in fiction could this be the residence of a man facing financial ruin. Cedric Brown is the local funeral director, in debt and counting on an inheritance from his rich Great Aunt Adelaide (Angela Lansbury), who has made one stipulation: He must marry within 30 days.