Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase is a film based on the Nancy Drew book The Hidden Staircase. It stars Sophia Lillis as Nancy Drew. It had a limited theatrical release in the United States on March 15, 2019.
A bit of an outsider struggling to fit into her new surroundings, Nancy and her pals set out to solve a mystery, make new friends, and establish their place in the community.
After her mother's death, 16-year-old sleuth Nancy Drew and her father Carson relocate from Chicago to rural River Heights. While Nancy struggles to fit in, Carson is active in local politics, fighting the development of a train line through the town. A local thug named Willie Wharton threatens Nancy one night to try to scare her father into backing down.
Nancy meets Flora, an elderly woman needing help with an apparent haunting in her home while doing community service as punishment for a prank on a school bully. Determined to solve and excited to have a new mystery Nancy stays overnight at Flora's home, along with Flora's niece Helen. That night, strange things happen, lights go out and then explode, cabinet doors and drawers open, and a cloaked figure appearing and warns Nancy to give up her mystery.
The next day, Nancy believes that someone broke in and tried scaring them out. Nancy and Helen investigate and find a secret passage that leads outside, revealing how the "ghost" entered the house. The secret passage also contains props the intruder used to simulate a haunting, such as a rigged fuse box to manipulate the lights in the house. The rest of the strange phenomenon is explained by a rig that emits concentrated nutmeg through the house's air conditioning, which triggers hallucinations.
Later, Nancy realizes her father, who is staying out of town on a business trip, has not checked in with her or her aunt Hannah recently. She calls her father's friend Nate, who tells her that Carson's meeting is at a campsite and reception must be spotty. Nancy is not convinced, as Carson had told her he would be staying at a hotel.
Worried that something has happened to him, Nancy and Helen head to Carson's hotel. They discover that he never checked out, and his cell phone is still in his room. Security footage from the previous night reveals Carson was ambushed and kidnapped by Wharton. Nancy's friends Bess and George find out that Wharton is also the man who bought the nutmeg used at Flora's house, and Nancy realizes Carson is being kept in the secret passage there. She and Helen head to Flora's house, where they discover Wharton and Nate holding Carson and Flora hostage. Wharton and Nate were working together to sabotage the anti-train movement, and their scheme was meant to force Flora to sell her house so the line could be built through her property. Nancy and Helen work together to save Carson and Flora from their captors, who are then arrested by the police.
The next day at school, Nancy, George, and Bess welcome Helen into their circle of friends, and together they plan their next adventure at the Lilac Inn.
Cast and characters
- Sophia Lillis as Nancy Drew
- Sam Trammell as Carson Drew
- Linda Lavin as Flora
- Zoe Renee as George Fayne
- Mackenzie Graham as Bess Marvin
- Laura Slade Wiggins as Helen Corning
- Andrea Anders as Hannah Gruen
- Jesse C. Boyd as Willie Wharton