Woman In Black Blu Ray Review

Daniel Radcliffe in The Woman In Black
Daniel Radcliffe windswept and a bit Hugh Grant in The Woman In Black

Hammer Films has been releasing new films for a while now, but none so far have had that ?Hammer? feel fans associate with the classic horror brand. That is until now. ?The Woman In Black? is Hammer at its classic-movie best, chills and tingles, interesting plot and a whole heap of tension (but not a heaving bosom in sight, sadly!)

Starring Daniel Radcliffe in his first major role post-Potter, the film is based on Susan Hill?s popular novel, and tells the tale of a young lawyer who travels to a remote village to deal with the affairs of an old client who has passed away. However, the village is less than welcoming, and soon he discovers the people are being terrorized by the vengeful ghost of a ?woman in black?. The film also features Janet McTeer and Ciaran Hinds, but the real stars are the chills.

I?ve never really enjoyed so-called chillers as they never seem to chill me. Films that purport to ?scare? an audience just don?t scare me. I think it is something to do with the inability to suspend disbelief long enough to build up a sense of dread. Just about all these films fail to engage with their characters, locations or plots. Usually they either bore me or make me laugh (yes, I am one of those people who laugh at horror films?they just make me giggle, and not in a nervous way!) So I came to ?The Woman In Black? with a sense of uninspired ?meh?. I?ve read the book and seen the play and neither grabbed me as anything special. Not to do them down, they are both entertaining and worth laying down some hard cash on, but I don?t understand the near-universal love affair the rest of the country has with them. That said, Susan Hill writes very well and has used a classic British ghost tale to create a solid modern (well, Victorian) spooky story that is so much more than a vengeful-spirit-on-a-rampage tale.

Daniel Radcliffe in The Woman In Black
Daniel Radcliffe weilding an Axe in The Woman In Black

So, to the movie. While the original book is a little turgid in its use of ?ye olde Victorian language?, the movie sticks with a more modern use of English and it is to the film-makers? credit, as it gives the film a much more accessible tone from the start. The costumes and locations are Victorian enough to give us the setting, the actors are therefore able to focus on engaging our interest in their story. This also immediately raises the film above the Hammer history?a no-cheese-zone as one friend put it. This is a film that gets on with things, no waiting, no fluff. I appreciate a story that moves on quickly. So, we start in London with Radcliffe being told he has one last chance to redeem himself by heading off to the wilds to deal with the paperwork of the dead client. He?s had a rough time of it, with his young wife dying in childbirth a few years before?understandably the poor chap is not quite himself. But before you know it he is saying goodbye to his son and the nanny and zooming up north via the Hogwarts Express/GNER. Getting the hero to the key location so quickly does the film favours, as it means more screen-time for the spooky shenanigans later on. Once in the unwelcoming village Daniel heads off to the old mansion in the marshes and very quickly begins to see the spectre of the mysterious woman in black. And this is where the film makes the jump from so-so to superb. There is a palpable feeling of tension building, of mystery and suspense. You never feel scared but you certainly feel uneasy. The glimpses of the spectre are handled with aplomb, with occasional jump-scares, but mostly with excellent use of misdirection and sound. It is interesting that Daniel?s character is never afraid of the apparition, as he is desperately hoping to be reunited with his dead wife. He sees the ghost as an opportunity to find out if he can find his wife again. And so, with the hero never truly scared, we as an audience are never really frightened. And this is the genius stroke, because by doing away with an expectation of fear, we are allowed instead to enjoy a slow-burn tension. We are fascinated by this spectre and the other ghosts he sees. We are as curious and wary of the odd sounds and strangeness within the old mansion, but we want to see what is going on as much as Daniel?s character does. Our senses are heightened and our nerves are primed. When the ?event? moments occur they don?t terrify but they do force a surge of adrenaline through our systems. Goose-bumps and raised hairs everywhere! And so much of this is down to timing, sleight-of-hand camera tricks, excellent sound design and a beautiful use of colour and shadow. Take note horror directors?we don?t always need to see the ?monster? up close and in HD detail. Suggestion and subtlety work extremely well. Director James Watkins excels in creating a tone of malevolence and anger, while holding back from terror and fear, a real achievement.

THE WOMAN IN BLACK AVAILABLE ON BLU-RAY, DVD & DIGITAL DOWNLOAD FROM 18TH JUNE 2012

So far so good. But I do have complaints. As much as Daniel Radcliffe does a good job as Arthur Kipps, he doesn?t ?own? the role. As I watched I felt that any capable actor could have taken on the role and given as good a performance. There feels no need for it to be Radcliffe. He doesn?t bring anything unique or compelling to the role. That said, he is very good and has mastered the art of facial-acting. This is a largely dialogue-free movie, with a lot resting on the physical acting of the lead, and Radcliffe manages this impressively. Then there is the matter of his age. I know it has been talked about a lot, but Radcliffe just looks a bit too young for the character. He is supposed to have a 4/5 yr old son, but Daniel still looks 20 or 21. Surely he didn?t get married at 14 or 15? And he is also supposed to be a young but experienced lawyer, which means he would need to be in his mid-twenties at least. The one thing Radcliffe cannot do is change his youthful appearance, and sadly for me it did distract. An actor aged 25-30 would have made that much more sense. Then again, Hammer needed a BIG name lead to get the press attention they so desperately wanted, and for such a well-known book a famous lead is pretty much a must. I won?t take away from Daniel a good job done well. But I do think he is interchangeable with any number of other actors.

All in all ?The Woman In Black? is a superb film that will offer you an almost traditional movie experience, but with the added bonus of modern film techniques. The lack of Hammer-horror cheese, the superb visual and audio presentation, coupled with the clever use of tension and suspense all add up to make this a brilliant film. The ending is unusual, but oh-so-British and will make you reconsider the motivation of the central spirit. Is this the start of a renaissance for old-school chillers? I doubt it. The source material is certainly there to mine, but I fear few directors, and fewer studios, have the patience and nerve to do such films. This could be the niche market Hammer has been looking for. Steer clear of the rip-off teenagers in peril themes, and stick with intelligent, suspenseful chillers and they?ll be on to a winner.

Daniel Radcliffe Ghost Story Competition

Daniel Radcliffe, the star of upcoming ghost story chiller, THE WOMAN IN BLACK, today launched an initiative to find the UK and Ireland?s scariest story.? Beginning this Halloween, 31 October, budding writers will be able to submit their own original short story to THE WOMAN IN BLACK YouTube channel.? The winning entry will be recorded by Radcliffe and included on THE WOMAN IN BLACK DVD and the winner will win a trip to London to attend the Premiere of THE WOMAN IN BLACK in early 2012.

Daniel Radcliffe announced the competition with a reading of an iconic scene from Susan Hill?s original novella.

Radcliffe adds some advice for potential entrants, ?For all you budding writers out there remember that it?s 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration so good luck and I can?t wait to see what spooky stories you guys come up with in the coming months?

The competition will run exclusively on YouTube.?? Entrants have to upload short videos of themselves reading their original ghost story through the film?s official YouTube page – www.youtube.com/thewomaninblackmovie.? The competition closes on the 20th of December 2011, whereupon ten finalists will be chosen and voted for by the public.? The winner will be announced on the 6th of January 2012.

A full set of terms and conditions are available on the YouTube channel.

Video links:

Daniel Radcliffe wants you to submit your ghost stories:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F4yDer_y6T0

Daniel Radcliffe reads an extract from The Woman in Black:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2BEtJ8XBfoo

Hammer’s The Woman In Black Trailer and Images

The Woman In Black Movie Poster
Based on the classic ghost story, THE WOMAN IN BLACK tells the tale of Arthur Kipps (Daniel Radcliffe), a lawyer who is forced to leave his young son and travel to a remote village to attend to the affairs of the recently deceased owner of Eel Marsh House.

Working alone in the old mansion, Kipps begins to uncover the town’s tragic and tortured secrets and his fears escalate when he discovers that local children have been disappearing under mysterious circumstances. When those closest to him become threatened by the vengeful woman in black, Kipps must find a way to break the cycle of terror.

THE WOMAN IN BLACK also stars Ciaran Hinds (TINKER, TAILOR, SOLDIER, SPY) and Janet McTeer (TUMBLEWEEDS), was adapted from Susan Hill’s novel for the screen by Jane Goldman (KICK ASS) and directed by James Watkins (EDEN LAKE).

In cinemas 10 February 2011

the Woman In Black Trailer

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows 2 NEW Trailer

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows ? Part 2
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows ? Part 2 – ? 2011 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved
Harry Potter Publishing Rights ? J.K.R. (or J.K. Rowling)

Harry Potter characters, names and related indicia are trademarks of and ? Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows ? Part 2? is the final adventure in the Harry Potter film series. The much-anticipated motion picture event is the second of two full-length parts.

In the epic finale, the battle between the good and evil forces of the wizarding world escalates into an all-out war. The stakes have never been higher and no one is safe. But it is Harry Potter who may be called upon to make the ultimate sacrifice as he draws closer to the climactic showdown with Lord Voldemort.

It all ends here.

?Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows ? Part 2? stars Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson, reprising their roles as Harry Potter, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger. The film?s ensemble cast also includes Helena Bonham Carter, Jim Broadbent, Robbie Coltrane, Warwick Davis, Tom Felton, Ralph Fiennes, Michael Gambon, Ciar?n Hinds, John Hurt, Jason Isaacs, Matthew Lewis, Gary Oldman, Alan Rickman, Maggie Smith, David Thewlis, Emma Thompson, Julie Walters and Bonnie Wright.

The film was directed by David Yates, who also helmed the blockbusters ?Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,? ?Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince? and ?Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows ? Part 1.? David Heyman, the producer of all of the Harry Potter films, produced the film, together with David Barron. Screenwriter Steve Kloves adapted the screenplay, based on the book by J.K. Rowling. Lionel Wigram is the executive producer.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 Trailer



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Behind the scenes, the creative team was led by director of photography Eduardo Serra, production designer Stuart Craig, editor Mark Day, composer Alexandre Desplat, visual effects supervisor Tim Burke, and costume designer Jany Temime.

Warner Bros. Pictures presents a Heyday Films production, ?Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,? which marks the last installment in the most successful film franchise of all time.

?Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows ? Part 2? will be released worldwide in theatres and IMAX, in 3D and 2D, beginning July 15, 2011.

Hammer Horror’s The Woman In Black Teaser Trailer

Based on the classic ghost story by Susan Hill, THE WOMAN IN BLACK tells the tale of Arthur Kipps ( played by Harry Potter’s Daniel Radcliffe), a lawyer who is forced to leave his young son and travel to a remote village to attend to the affairs of the recently deceased owner of Eel Marsh House.

Working alone in the old mansion, Kipps begins to uncover the town?s tragic and tortured secrets and his fears escalate when he discovers that local children have been dying under mysterious circumstances. When those closest to him become threatened by the vengeful woman in black, Kipps must find a way to break the cycle of terror.

THE WOMAN IN BLACK also stars Ciaran Hinds (TINKER, TAILOR, SOLDIER, SPY) and Janet McTeer (TUMBLEWEEDS), was adapted from Susan Hill?s novel for the screen by Jane Goldman (KICK ASS) and directed by James Watkins (EDEN LAKE).

The Woman In Black Teaser Trailer

The Rite – Trailer

Inspired by true events, ?The Rite? follows skeptical seminary student Michael Kovak (Colin O?Donoghue), who reluctantly attends exorcism school at the Vatican. While in Rome, he meets an unorthodox priest, Father Lucas (Anthony Hopkins), who introduces him to the darker side of his faith.

Directed by Mikael H?fstr?m (?1408?), ?The Rite? is a supernatural thriller that uncovers the devil?s reach to even one of the holiest places on Earth. The film stars Oscar? winner Anthony Hopkins (?Silence of the Lambs,? ?Wolfman?), Colin O?Donoghue in his feature film debut, Alice Braga (?Predators?), Ciar?n Hinds (HBO?s ?Rome,? upcoming ?Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows? films), Toby Jones (?Frost/Nixon,? ?Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets?) and Rutger Hauer (?Batman Begins?, ?Blade Runner?, ?Split Second?).



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Release date: 25 February, 2011