The Woman in Black

Last night I visited my local Odeon cinema to see “The Woman in Black” starring Daniel Radcliffe. There are no spoilers here just a very brief review from someone who used to investigate the occasional ‘haunted’ property in the old days.

The first thing I wanted to say is a big thank you to all those people involved in making the film. I utterly enjoyed it. Jane Goldman did a great job with the screenplay. Unlike many other spooky films I’ve seen and didn’t enjoy, The Woman in Black conveyed great atmosphere with the scary bits brilliantly timed. The acting was bloomin’ brilliant and I was hooked from the start and that’s a very important point to consider.

My first experience of The Woman in Black was a repeated viewing of the stage play in the West End of London 1991/92. How 2 men, a ghost, a multi-purpose basket and an invisible dog could scare the BeJezuz out of me is to be commended. The play is still going strong and I would heartily recommend it to anyone visiting London. It’s currently showing at the Fortune Theatre.

But what about the book by Susan Hill that both the play and the film is based on? Well yes, what about it? Go and get it and have a chilling time reading it. I’m often disappointed by haunted house stories because they’re usually over the top, anyone who’s been lucky enough to be a part of an investigation into one will tell you that ‘things just don’t happen like that’. Very often nothing happens at all – clue: a person’s psychology is at the heart of it. Interesting things do happen and I’ve witnessed some of them but they’re never as good as what you see in the films…but one can get scared nonetheless if you allow your imagination to run away with you.

The film’s only bad criticism is its rating, it’s a 12! There’s no blood and gore, excessive violence or bad language, it’s exceedingly tame in that respect and it was still a full on scary film.I don’t think I can find another film that matches it except the original versions of The Haunting and the Haunting of Hell House.

No I can’t, won’t even, find a fault with the film. What annoyed me the most was the audience around me, composed mainly of ‘young people’ at the 6 o’clock showing who couldn’t stop screaming! Well I guess that was part of the fun, except I want to strangle those who couldn’t stop talking throughout…I think the Odeon needs to start employing chat monitors.

Okay so in summary. Film – The Woman in Black – great, I recommend this (and not the other film adaptation from 1989 which was absolutely appalling).

I also recommend going to see the play and reading the book. That’s it from me. Please enjoy.

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6 Responses to The Woman in Black

  1. Lee Rawlings says:

    I haven’t read this one yet but I also highly recommend The Small Hand and the one about the man in the picture. Easy one day reads that are simple and body quiveringly brilliant.

  2. ClaireMcA says:

    I loved the book but won’t be seeing the film, because I just know it’ll push all those sensitivity buttons in me that I have no control over and leave me feeling a complete wreck at the end even though I tell myself its not real. I scare people who aren’t frightened with my reactions and it isn’t pleasant for any of us! I might be able to watch this on DVD with the music turned down 🙂 its such a pity as I would love to see it.

    • Tony Eccles says:

      Yes a certain someone sitting next to me sat cowered behind their scarf for much of it but it was a great thrill and very few films actually give me that ride. I’m rarely impressed by many films but TWIB was splendid…definitely one for my DVD collection and I may just go and see it again with a pal of mine next week.

      • ClaireMcA says:

        Now you’re tempting me, but I think I’d need to be at home with a pillow and feet up on the couch (and adjusting the volume for those eerie musical pieces), not stuck in cinema with people all around.

  3. Jeyna Grace says:

    People say the play is brilliant. I bet it is, but I’m staying countries away for a chance to catch it.

    • Tony Eccles says:

      Well the play did travel to Liverpool in the late 1990s. I don’t see why a stage production can’t travel to other destinations, I’m sure it will attract lots of visitors.

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