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The Woman in Black


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#1 Tyler

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Posted 17 August 2011 - 06:15 PM




If nothing else, this trailer shows that Radcliffe will turn into Hugh Jackman when he grows up.

The only other movie James Watkins has directed is Eden Lake, which I can't even remember hearing about. Michael Fassbender was in it, apparently.

The screenwriter, Jane Goldman, also co-wrote X Men: First Class, Kick-Ass, and Stardust.

#2 Scholar's Parrot

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Posted 17 August 2011 - 11:35 PM

The screenwriter, Jane Goldman, also co-wrote X Men: First Class, Kick-Ass, and Stardust.


I don't know why you said all that when you coulda just said she was friends with Matthew Vaughn

#3 NBooth

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 06:53 PM

I kinda dig this poster

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Edited by NBooth, 16 January 2012 - 06:54 PM.


#4 Thom Wade

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Posted 17 January 2012 - 08:18 AM

It has a nice late sixties/early seventies horror movie poster vibe. I like it.

#5 NBooth

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 10:40 AM

TotalFilm has a review:

A heritage horror so classical it almost veers towards camp, this unashamedly old-fashioned ghost story benefits from Radcliffe’s committed performance and Watkins’ willingness to do anything for a scare.



#6 Jason Panella

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Posted 04 February 2012 - 10:28 AM

It has a nice late sixties/early seventies horror movie poster vibe. I like it.


It's produced by Hammer Films, so that makes total sense.

#7 SDG

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Posted 04 February 2012 - 02:37 PM

My review.

A straightforward, old-fashioned haunted-house story has become almost a novelty in our time.

Demons are another story. We’ve had no shortage of exorcism films; demonic possession is practically old hat. Zombies are everywhere, and vampires are still riding high. We’re chock-a-block with the undead, but we’ve almost forgotten the other half of the postmortem horror equation — the unquiet spirit, and all that goes with it: the ramshackle house that no one dares stay in overnight; a reflection or glimpse in a window of a face where there can be no face; doors that open and close by themselves; bodies not properly buried in sacred ground.

Perhaps it’s partly because we aren’t quite sure what a ghost actually does. As C. S. Lewis noted in The Problem of Pain, “No one is primarily afraid of what a ghost may do to him, but of the mere fact that it is a ghost. It is uncanny rather than dangerous, and the special kind of fear it induces may be called dread.” Dread is more difficult to manufacture than a visceral reaction to something with arms and teeth that can grab and bite and leave a trail of potentially R-rated blood and gore in its wake. Anyway, with a ghost, the brave and optimistic may always hope to find a way of placating it, of discovering the secret of its anger and helping it achieve peace and move on. No one ever placated a zombie or a vampire.

The Woman in Black, based on the eponymous 1983 novel by Susan Hill (previously adapted as a long-running stage play and a TV movie), is as traditional a ghost story as one could wish. Its very clichés have become fresh. It has atmosphere to burn, with splendid locations and production design bringing to life Hill’s terrific conceit of Eel Marsh House, an isolated old mansion in the brackish marshes on the outskirts of a coastal village, accessible only by a low causeway that disappears twice a day when high tide floods the marshes.

For Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe, who stars as a young solicitor named Arthur Kipps, The Woman in Black is an opportunity to make a reasonably graceful break from the role that has dominated his life since childhood. For the new owners of England’s legendary Hammer horror brand, until recently dormant from the 1970s, it’s an opportunity to stake their claim to continuing in the tradition of Terence Fisher, Jimmy Sangster et al. For curious movie watchers, it’s an opportunity to see how Radcliffe does in another role — and how an old-fashioned haunted house story plays today.

In all these capacities, The Woman in Black is serviceable, if not inspired. Sporting sideburns and a shuffling walk, Radcliffe is fine as an early 20th-century everyman in an emotional fog after the death of his wife, who died giving birth to their son Joseph (Misha Handley, Radcliffe’s real-life godson). I don’t suppose Radcliffe, at 22, is quite old enough for a widowed father of a four-year-old in early 20th-century London. At any rate, his eyes, when he looks at the boy, are not those of a father. But since father and son are separated for nearly the whole film, it’s not a notable handicap.



#8 Thom Wade

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 09:50 AM

I quite enjoyed this film. About half way through, my friend whispered, oh, so this is gonna be one of those films. It was mostly jump scares, and it actually served us well, because we relaxed a bit and found the second half of the film full of creepy scares and jumps. One of the things I loved in the first Paranormal activity was the reliance on noise to sell the atmosphere and discomfort. I have been home alone in a big house and been certain it sounded like someone was walking up the stairs...so that stuff is far scarier than in your face mosters and killers with loads of gore.

This film had plenty of creepy imagery and great moments (especially in the second half) that really worked for me.

Edited by Nezpop, 07 February 2012 - 08:29 AM.


#9 Attica

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 01:25 AM

Loved it. ::w00tfuzz::


*Spoilers ahead*


I thought it was great that this film had so many of the old Hammer staples... yet wasn't quite in our face with them.


1) Creeped out Inn owner and his wife that wanted the newcomer to leave - check.
2) Creeped out townsfolk that wanted newcomer to leave - check
3) trees, nature, architecture, incredible interiors including realistic Victorian era furniture, where these things are almost like another character in the film - and also add greatly to the atmosphere while helping to give some dignity to the film - check.
4) icky gooey mudbogs and swamps - check
5) a grave being opened - check
6) remote castle / house that the townspeople are scared of going near - check
7)Story with some creepy scares that have a big element of fun to them, where your having a great old time and actually want to hoot at the screen - check
8) Even though it was basically a scary and fun story there are elements where the story touches on something deeper, in a metaphysical, human, or religious sense - check.


I'm not sure if anybody noticed how closely the interior of the house was to the castle interior that Hammer used over and over again in their 60's heyday. The fireplace was even is the same place. Also one of the bedrooms had pretty much the same bed, and it was in the same location, as the bed in the room that the count gave to Harker in HORROR OF DRACULA.

There was also one shot that showed a Gargoyle statue outside the building that was very similar to the Gargoyle at the start of HORROR OF DRACULA.


What can I say.... I had a great time at the movies, and found myself smiling at the trippiness of it all.


Oh. And the film was a pleasure to look at. There were some great shots and fine cinematography.


I just get a kick out of these kinds of films :turnround:

Edited by Attica, 07 February 2012 - 02:37 PM.


#10 Russ

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 02:56 PM

I'm glad you guys liked this one as much as I did. I had my 14 year-old and 12 year-old daughters in tow. For them, Harry, Ron and Hermione were the Luke, Han and Leia of their cinematic upbringing, so there was obvious attraction in seeing Radcliffe post-Harry. I agree with Steven's point that he's simply too young to have a four year-old son-- was he reading for the bar in short pants?-- but apart from that he acquitted himself very well on the Corvette Summer scale.

In the summer of '78, when I saw TV commercials for Corvette Summer, I was so deep in the clutches of Star Wars mania that the seven year-old version of me was adamant that I had to see the latest, earth-bound adventure of Luke Skywalker. My parents told me it looked awful. The high school boy who babysat us, whom I otherwise worshiped, told me that the kind of movies that start their runs at the drive-in are, as a rule, bad movies, and Corvette Summer was going to be a drive-in movie. I wasn't listening; in these moments of Mulholland Drivey conflation of actor and person, I think I actually believed that the plucky, adventure-seeking farm boy from a galaxy not from around here would sometimes occupy various disguises, including an Imperial Stormtrooper and the man known as "Mark Hamill." Anyway, to avoid further belaboring, you can imagine my dispiriting ride home from the drive-in. I learned then that you were as likely to leave a Mark Hamill movie thinking that nothing was possible as you were that anything was possible. His mystique was deposited in one of those ribbed metal garbage cans stationed near the snack bar.

Now, Radcliffe obviously has more talent, better advisers and a clearer complexion than my exemplar, but on the Corvette Summer scale, he emerged with his reputation intact. After all, reacting to the supernatural is sort of up his alley.

My daughters (and the other overwhelmingly teen and overwhelmingly girl audience menbers) dug all of the jump scares and creepy imagery. It's not a multi-layered classic-to-be; there's not enough subtext, and it's a little under-storied.

But there was one other cool angle. In my efforts to inculcate my kids with the very best in genre entertainment, Drag Me to Hell has become a favorite of my oldest two. If you've seen that film, you'll recognize the same beats of a post-faux-denoument train-tracks scene and a "they're not really going to go there, are they" ending. The contrast between Raimi's OT eye-for-an-eye and this film's approach made for a neat contrast, given the other similarities.

Edited by Russ, 24 February 2012 - 03:13 PM.


#11 Christian

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 04:20 PM

in these moments of Mulholland Drivey conflation of actor and person, I think I actually believed that the plucky, adventure-seeking farm boy from a galaxy not from around here would sometimes occupy various disguises, including an Imperial Stormtrooper and the man known as "Mark Hamill." Anyway, to avoid further belaboring, you can imagine my dispiriting ride home from the drive-in.


Russ, I remember being a grade-school lover of the Pink Panther movies, which used to be broadcast on channel 20 in D.C. Thinking I was a big Peter Sellars fan, I convinced my mom to take me and a friend to the Sellars remake of The Prisoner of Zenda. I remember laughing a couple of times -- probably forced. Oddly, I remember the theater where I saw that film, the friend I saw it with, and that we sat toward the front of the theater, leaving my parents in the back.

Later that same friend and I saw Revenge of the Pink Panther at another theater in the area. Can't remember anything about that film except a scene where Sellars asses gas in an elevator. (I've got the correct Pink Panther movie, right? The one that was assembled, if memory serves, after Sellars has died?)

Edited by Christian, 24 February 2012 - 04:21 PM.


#12 Russ

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 04:41 PM

...except a scene where Sellars asses gas in an elevator.


The rare misspelling that is actually more technically correct than the intended meaning. Just think: if you'd have browbeaten your parents into taking you to a showing of Being There, you could have gained an early-in-life entry point into high-end cinema art! Well, assuming you could have made it past the scene where MacLaine takes matters into her own hands without your mom or dad dragging you out of the theater.

#13 Christian

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 05:15 PM


...except a scene where Sellars asses gas in an elevator.


The rare misspelling that is actually more technically correct than the intended meaning. Just think: if you'd have browbeaten your parents into taking you to a showing of Being There, you could have gained an early-in-life entry point into high-end cinema art! Well, assuming you could have made it past the scene where MacLaine takes matters into her own hands without your mom or dad dragging you out of the theater.

If you only knew how often I hit "Add Reply" and then, horrified as I read what I've submitted, go in and edit the post to remove typos, syntax problems, etc. I think every one of my posts has an "Edited on..." addition at the bottom of the post. And yet I still miss stuff. Thanks for understanding.

#14 Attica

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 05:31 PM


...except a scene where Sellars asses gas in an elevator.


The rare misspelling that is actually more technically correct than the intended meaning. Just think: if you'd have browbeaten your parents into taking you to a showing of Being There, you could have gained an early-in-life entry point into high-end cinema art! Well, assuming you could have made it past the scene where MacLaine takes matters into her own hands without your mom or dad dragging you out of the theater.



I just kind of figured that it was a slang term which I hadn't heard before.

#15 Persona

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 01:47 AM

I finally got around to this and left a quick reaction here, but just wanted to leave a note kinda like SDG did - this is a fun, old fashioned ghost story. Sometimes you feel you're looking and looking for one of those, and they seem kinda hard to find. I particularly enjoyed the scene in the middle of the film with the main character alone in the house, seemed to last about fifteen minutes and the creeps and jolts just went on and on and on.

Not a perfect ghost story by any means, but a LOT of fun.

Edited by Persona, 17 October 2012 - 01:48 AM.


#16 Ryan H.

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 06:38 AM

I had a blast with this film.

That said, I have warned everyone I've recommended the film to that THE WOMAN IN BLACK has a terrible, terrible ending.

#17 Thom Wade

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 07:38 AM

I wasn't really bothered by the ending, but it is not quite as compelling as the rest of the film. There are just some awesomely creepy moments in this film.

#18 Ryan H.

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 11:55 AM

I wasn't really bothered by the ending, but it is not quite as compelling as the rest of the film. There are just some awesomely creepy moments in this film.

The ending is just kinda, well, lukewarm. If offers neither the chill a bleaker, nihilistic ending might offer, nor the satisfaction a more redemptive, restorative ending would deliver.

#19 Thom Wade

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 12:36 PM

I can agree to lukewarm...it strikes me as a failed attempt at creating a dark, yet happy ending.