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The Wisteria Manor

The Wisteria Manor

Screenshot 2024-03-30 154325

Review by FilmmakerLife

This masterpiece, directed by Michelle Arthur, is a mystery thriller feature with a touch of horror and romance that stars Arthur herself as the narrator. “The Wisteria Manor,” which she adapted into a screenplay from Jay Scott Nixon’s novel, focuses on a young girl in 1751 who meets a tragic fate but finds herself resurrected soon after. As she finds her way back into the real world, she will help change lives forever.

Told through artwork, photos, and footage, the film provides a unique perspective on the plot, keeping the audience enthralled for its entire runtime. Arthur expertly utilises the cinematic tools at her disposal to bring this story to life as she takes the audience down a rabbit hole of the supernatural.

Undoubtedly, the heart of the film is the stunning narration by Michelle Arthur. Using the magic of the spoken word, Arthur’s slow yet deep narration provides the perfect amount of exposition and emotion to this riveting film. Poignantly highlighting the pain behind the protagonist, Arthur’s resolute take as the narrative pointer makes for a fantastic addition to the film.

Juggling four of the most important positions – producing, directing, screenwriting, and acting/narrating in a film’s making is no easy task, but Arthur manages to do so with flying colours. The writing is potent; imbuing drama and emotion in a supernatural story, Arthur manages to make the audience identify with the protagonist in the most unexpected of circumstances. Not only that but the characters that populate the film are all fascinating as well. How the story progresses and the unexpected twists that happen keep us on edge and the resolution of the story at the end is both satisfying and a little sad.

Yet, it is in its visual artistry and film editing by Jeff Vernon that the film makes its mark. Just to reiterate, this is not your average film but a collage of stills and footage with Cinematographer Craig Purdum that make it feel like a film due to the narration. The visuals are deep and complex, often telling a story of their own. The characters are drawn perfectly and the set design is also very impressive.

The musical score by R. Kim Shultz is absolutely beautiful, setting the tone for the entire film. The low notes of the piano work their magic as the story picks up pace, imbuing flavour and depth into the twists and turns that lie ahead. Coupled with the gorgeous imagery that makes up the film, the music is sublime and a key part of what makes the production tick.

Thus, “The Wisteria Manor” is an aesthetically-pleasing, engaging, and highly-original film that manages to work in multiple ways, transporting the audience on a mysterious journey across the 18th and 19th centuries. From its spot on narration to the music, each aspect of this ‘film’ makes it unique. Even in its current form, without a full cast and crew for all the various characters, we found ourselves totally immersed in the experience.  For more information, click on:

Cast / Crew

Michelle Arthur
Michelle Arthur (adapted screenplay); Jay Scott Nixon (novel)
Jeff Vernon
Michelle Arthur
Director of Photography :
Craig Purdum, Visual Artist Jeff Vernon
Executive Producer/Producer Michelle Arthur, Associate Producer Patrick Stalinski
Foley Artist/Sound Designer/Sound Editor R. Kim Shultz, Sound Recordist Craig Purdum
R. Kim Shultz


Mystery, Thriller, Horror, Romance
United States of America

About the Director

Michelle Renee Arthur, originally from Indianapolis, Indiana, boasts a diverse heritage including English, Irish, Scottish, German, and Cherokee roots. Showing a passion for acting since the age of 6, she excelled in various roles throughout high school, from gymnast to newspaper editor. Inspired by her uncle, a former LA Times columnist, she pursued a Bachelor of Arts degree from Indiana University's School of Journalism, with additional studies at UCLA and various acting studios. Following an internship with Conde Nast Publication's Brides, Michelle embarked on a successful media career, contributing to publications like The New Yorker, Cosmopolitan, and Robb Report. Transitioning to acting, she made appearances in TV shows and films before returning to Los Angeles in 2014 to pursue her passion full-time. Since then, she has taken on lead and supporting roles in numerous acclaimed productions, showcasing her talent both in front of and behind the camera, including writing and producing her own script registered with the WGAW.


Photo Gallery / Video


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“How the story progresses and the unexpected twists that happen keep us on edge and the resolution of the story at the end is both satisfying and a little sad. ”


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