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[film] The Woman in Black - badgerblog
February 4th, 2012
09:39 am

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[film] The Woman in Black
(spoilers involving the end of the film inside the cut)

maegwynn and I saw The Woman In Black Friday at Mission Valley.

Of the four of us, it seems I enjoyed it the most: others found it a little thin in story, and a bit too reliant on "BOO!" jump out and scare you kind of horror. I was just happy to see a new horror film from Hammer Studios for the first time in decades, and thought it a decent ghost story overall. Unlike some of Hammer's buckets of blood productions or more modern splatter films such as the Saw franchise, there's almost no gore.

There's a beautifully spooky mansion, weird rural locals and frightened villagers, strange happenings, and the seemingly-mandatory-for-Hammer digging into a grave in a cemetery by torchlight. It's a beautifully shot period piece, mostly in gray but not the more common modern blue gray look. Decent ominous foreboding film score. Thought Daniel Radcliffe did ok, and I'll watch Ciaran Hinds in almost anything.

The mansion on a semi-island isolated in the marshes and accessible only when the tide is out reminded me of Bocklin's The Isle of the Dead. In John Coulthart's article about the painting he mentioned Val Lewton's obsession with the painting so the people involved with the Hammer film may well have intended the resemblance and I may not be imagining things. A nice touch.

Spoilers (not kidding, serious spoilers) so I shall

I was unclear as to what happens to the dog: he's barking in one scene and then I didn't notice him for the rest of the film.

I thought the specter turning to look at the audience as the final shot of the film as unnecessary: it's the only break of the fourth wall in the film, and is too common now to be a huge shock.

In one scene at the mansion (the last scene of the dog barking), Radcliffe's character runs outside and sees the house surrounded by the dead children the woman in black has made commit suicide. I thought at this point the film could have ended as the zombie children besiege the house and drag Radcliffe into the marshes, never to be seen again. However, this isn't a zombie movie, it's a ghost story.



trailers:

* The Hunger Games - I suppose I should read this sometime.

* Silent House - From the trailer, looks like nice normal people have horribly bad things happen to them in their own home. Much made that the film is 88 minutes and done in a single continuous camera shot, meaning this may be the only time I ever get to reference The Last House on the Left and Russian Ark together.

* 7500 - Flight 7500 from the US West Coast to Japan, spooky creepy bad things happen to the isolated passengers. Maybe someone will say "I don't want no DEMONS on my m*'ing plane!"

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