The Stone Tape - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Stone Tape Reviews

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½ May 5, 2013
Brilliant, clever sci-fi/ghost story from the mind of Nigel Kneale.
April 10, 2012
From the writer of the Quatermass series, this BBC telemovie charts similar territory, focused on a group of scientists and electronics experts trying to "define" a ghost by way of the data collected about her and/or to discover a new recording medium (which just might be as ancient as the foundation of the haunted building itself). None of the characters are particularly appealing but some interesting ideas are tossed around. Your mileage may depend on your tolerance for out-dated fashion and special effects.
January 29, 2012
Recently released on DVD, I was really disappointed with just how bad this is in pretty much every respect. Acting, sets, storyline, script, direction, music, everything. It had all the dramatic tension of Rentaghost and even the old cars weren't in it long enough. After about half an hour, I had to give up. 4/10 if I'm feeling charitable.
December 31, 2011
For a Halloween treat I re-watched one of my favorites from my collection of obscure / "nearly lost" films that are difficult but not impossible to track down. Its a classic Nigel Kneal penned tale that nicely blends the supernatural with science in a tale about a group of scientific researchers who discover that there may be ghost in their midst.
October 23, 2011
For a Halloween treat I re-watched one of my favorites from my collection of obscure / "nearly lost" films that are difficult but not impossible to track down. Its a classic Nigel Kneal penned tale that nicely blends the supernatural with science in a tale about a group of scientific researchers who discover that there may be ghost in their midst.
March 28, 2011
I thought it was good. Very televisual, and very stage play like. But the narrative was compelling and well though out.....especially considering the mergence of this type of ghost horror with science fiction. Worth a watch.
½ December 12, 2010
Superb BBC play from the early 1970‚(TM)s. When a group of Badly dressed!Scintests retreat to an old country manor to research a new recording medium for data they come across more then they bargained for when they come across a Ghost. The actual programme now looks dated with its video taped look and bulky technology but in a weird way this adds to the atmosphere, the acting is superb Jane Asher is great as one of the scientists losing the plot and Micheal Brient‚(TM)s over the top performance as the man in charge make for a brilliant watch, there are some great scenes and the ghostly electronic soundtrack adds to it. Great show that more than matches the Hammer Horror films of that period. Worth checking out.
February 14, 2010
Interesting drama, good idea, a bit slow to develop but good. Feb 2010
September 6, 2009
A scifi ghost story, in fact it's often cited as THE scifi ghost story, it holds up nicely. Not quite cinematic but still more so than a lot of TV drama. The FX are used cleverly but can't help having that 70's Doctor Who look (same technology and same technicians).

My only real problem with is that Jane Asher's character starts off a bit too weak. She's not just a little unsteady, it seems more like she's half-cracked before anything spooky begins. That's not unknown in ghost stories, and there are reasons for it in this story, but it still doesn't fit quite right here.

Asher, and the rest of the cast, still do very well.
March 26, 2009
Very dated, but interesting for fans of Kneale or Asher. This features Bryant as a Quatermass-like rationalist, but interestingly reflects Kneale's contemporary relevance by focusing upon Asher's character and her more balanced approach to the subject phenomena. Fans might also like another dated but fun BBC holiday production, Ghostwatch.
Super Reviewer
½ February 28, 2009
A top-secret team of electronics developers moves into new laboratories in a large country house which is undergoing extensive modernisation. After the ghost of a Victorian serving girl frightens off some superstitious builders before an essential piece of renovation has been completed, the scientists throw all their expertise and technology into analysing the manifestation.

This highly regarded BBC TV production from 1972 was scripted by Nigel Kneale, who wrote a number of influential teleplays for the corporation, including an adaptation of 1984 starring Peter Cushing, the Quatermass series 1-3 (The Quatermass Experiment, Quatermass II and Quatermass and the Pit) and The Year of the Sex Olympics. I've seen this twice now and each time I've been surprised I haven't liked it a little better. It dates from that era when they used to shoot exteriors on film and interiors on videotape, with an irritating discrepancy in continuity every time one format switches to the other. What is it about videotape that makes cheap and nasty sets look even cheaper and nastier? There's something very stagy about the performances too, as if the actors were projecting for a theatrical audience rather than for television.

Although the director, Peter Sasdy, made a couple of half-decent movies for Hammer, it's probably worth remembering that he also made the hilariously awful I Don't Want To Be Born, with Joan Collins. The most successful element of The Stone Tape is the marvellously spooky electronic soundtrack by the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. It's interesting to note that the somewhat similar The Legend of Hell House, made the following year, was also directed by a graduate of Hammer, John Hough, and featured electronic contributions to the soundtrack by the Radiophonic Workshop's Delia Derbyshire. A coincidence?
November 4, 2008
Slow, materialistic, meandering and cheap. Oh, and very very English. So many reasons for me to hate this movie, and yet I don't by any measure. There's a lot going on beneath the surface of Kneale's writing. And while I find it rather odd that this was at one time considred one of the scariest broadcasts ever, it is still rather enjoyable.
Super Reviewer
½ October 21, 2008
A freaky blend of supernatural and science...the plot weaves a ghostly tale that draws you in and holds your interest...a bit anti-climatic at the end but overall an original story...only problem I had with the acting is it appears as though they are on stage..everyone either shouts or talks too loud..with a larger special efx budget this film could really be something special!
½ April 24, 2008
Pretty boring film I thought but I enjoyed the themes of obsession, disbelief and paranoia
February 28, 2008
Brilliant stuff from British sci-fi legend Nigel Kneale. Film geeks will have a hard time watching as it was shot on videotape rather than film. There is also a bit of scenery chewing here and there on the part of the actors. The story concept and script are the real stars of this rollicking good ghost story. God bless the beeb!
October 31, 2007
eeiry 70's sci-fi from the BBC. Think 'Doctor Who' mixed with the 'League of Gentlemen' and some very dodgy special fx, and you are only one third of the way towards knowing what a classic hidden gem this is!! The music alone is some of the best BBC Radiophonic workshop stuff I've ever heard (and I have most of it). Order it, buy it, sit back and enjoy what we used to call 'spooky'!
October 18, 2007
love it or hate it, this will depend on your attitude to very bad 'special' effects. But few write better than Nigel Kneale [M Knight Shalyer take note, not notes!] and you soon get carried away by the intensity.
Acoustic scientists set up shop in a castle basement to develop the best recorder they can, but they soon wake up an old terror...
August 19, 2007
The finest piece of sci-fi the BBC has produced yet. Ignore the 70s fashions and concentrate on the brilliance of the writing.
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