As I mentioned earlier in my outfit post, I went to see the movie ‘The Woman in Black’. I didn’t know much about it beforehand, but the trailer really appealed to me with its old fashioned, dark atmosphere. The fact that Daniel Radcliffe played the lead part did make me a little hesitant at first; I was afraid he’d still be little Harry Potter to me. But this fear was ungrounded! The part was played really well and Radcliffe didn’t seem to feel the urge to turn his back on his past performances completely, just to combat any hint of typecasting. He stayed close to where he began, in a gloomy out-of-the-ordinary story, yet definitely lifted his acting to a more mature level.
If you are expecting to see a very original movie with a new take on the horror genre, then this movie is not for you! If however you have a profound love of Victorian times, dreary yet beautiful English landscapes and classic horror stories, you will not be let you down! And the movie is scary too, thanks to the clear influence of Japanese horror cinema and excellent sound effects.
The Woman in Black is produced by Hammer Productions, which was founded in 1934. The company produced many gothic horror films, especially from the fifties until the seventies. Other genres included science fiction, film noir, comedies, thrillers and tv series. Nothing came out anymore since 1984, but in 2007 Dutch producer John De Mol purchased the Hammer Films rights, restarting the studio. Several movies have come out since 2008, including the remake of the Swedish film ‘Let the Right One In’.
'The Shadow of the Cat' (1961) by Hammer Productions
What I liked in particular about The Woman in Black was the reference to spiritualism in this movie (the belief that one can communicate with the dead). Fascination with death and the grotesque were especially big in the nineteenth century and spiritualism was a wide-spread practice. People held séances, visited mediums and ghost stories were immensely popular. For an entertaining, accessible story about women and spiritualism in the nineteenth century, I recommend the novel ‘Cover the Mirrors’, by Faye L. Booth:
What I did not know, is that The Woman in Black is based on a novel by Susan Hill. I hadn’t heard of this writer before, but now I’m eager to get my hands on her books! As for the movie: I will certainly buy it on DVD as soon as it comes out because I already want to see it again!
My rating: 8,5
My rating: 8,5