Full Circle (1977 film)

Full Circle (a.k.a. The Haunting of Julia) is a 1977 British-Canadian horror film directed by Richard Loncraine. Based on the novel Julia by Peter Straub, it is the first film realization of one of his books. In the movie, Mia Farrow plays a woman fleeing an unhappy marriage and her daughter's death, and being haunted by the ghost of a vengeful little girl.

Full Circle
Canadian poster for Full Circle
Directed byRichard Loncraine
Written byHarry Bromley Davenport
Screenplay byDave Humphries
Based onJulia
by Peter Straub
StarringMia Farrow
Music byColin Towns
CinematographyPeter Hannan
Edited byRon Wisman
Distributed by
Release date
Running time
98 minutes
United Kingdom


The film opens with a young girl winding up a mechanical-clown toy in an upstairs window, then descending to a lower-floor window to greet her mother, Julia Lofting (Mia Farrow). During breakfast with her family, her daughter Kate (Sophie Ward) chokes on her food. Unable to dislodge the food, Julia attempts to save her by performing a tracheotomy, which results in the child's bleeding to death.

Julia leaves her husband Magnus (Keir Dullea) and moves to a new house with an upstairs room containing a child's possessions. In the park Julia sees a young girl that she believes is Kate but the child disappears. Unusual things take place in the house such as strange noises and appliances turning on by themselves. Later, Julia again sees the girl in the park and finds a mutilated turtle and knife where she stood.

Julia lets Magnus' sister Lily use her house to conduct a seance. Mrs. Flood, the medium, explains that spirits need to control someone to carry out physical acts. During the seance, the medium becomes frightened and tells Julia to leave the house immediately. Moments later, one of Lily's friends falls down the stairs before Mrs. Flood can explain what she saw. While Julia is out, Magnus breaks into her house. He sees something and follows it to the basement where he falls from the staircase, fatally cutting his throat on a broken mirror.

A neighbor tells Julia the house once belonged to Heather Rudge, who moved away after her daughter Olivia died. Julia visits Mrs. Flood who tells her that during the séance she had a vision of a boy bleeding to death in the park. Julia finds an article about Geoffrey Braden, a young boy who was murdered in the park. Julia visits Geoffrey's mother, Greta Braden, who says a vagrant was executed for the crime but other children in the park murdered her son. She says she and her companion have been following the lives of the children. She asks Julia to visit the remaining two, now adults: Captain Paul Winter and David Swift.

Julia visits Swift, an alcoholic who confesses that Olivia had power over him and the other children. She made them each kill an animal and watch as she murdered Geoffrey. He says he told only Mrs. Rudge. Later, as Swift leaves his apartment, he slips on a broken bottle in the stairwell and falls to his death.

Julia tells her friend Mark (Tom Conti) what she has discovered but he doesn't believe her. That evening, he is electrocuted by a lamp falling into his bath.

Julia visits Mrs. Rudge in a psychiatric home. Mrs. Rudge confesses that she killed Olivia after learning of the murder. As Julia leaves she looks over her shoulder at Mrs. Rudge, who sees Olivia's eyes and dies of a fright-induced heart attack.

At home Julia sees Olivia, first in the bathroom mirror and then in the living room playing with the clown toy. She takes it from her, offers her a hug, and asks her to stay. Julia is then seen bleeding to death, her throat apparently cut on the sharp edges of the clown's cymbals.


Release and reception

Full Circle was shown in San Sebastián International Film Festival on September 12, 1977 and at the Avoriaz Film Festival in France in 1978.[1]

The film was shown in London on May 4, 1978 and in Toronto on May 19, 1978.[1]

The film was originally released in the UK as Full Circle but fared poorly at the box office. It was released in the United States under the title The Haunting of Julia in 1981, but still failed to find an audience.[3]


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