Boy, have I got a cool horror film for you! The recently resurrected Hammer Film Productions released the movie adaptation of Susan Hill's novel The Woman in Black last February and it was terrific! Now available on DVD from us (click here to reserve a copy), The Woman in Black (which did well at the box office) will hopefully find an even wider audience.
Set in early 20th century England, Woman focuses on young solicitor Arthur Kipps (Daniel Radcliffe), who, while caring for his four-year-old son, keeps having visions of his late wife. The head of the law firm, unhappy with Arthur's work, gives the lawyer one last chance and sends him to a remote English village to settle the estate of their late client Alice Drablow.
The estate in question is the Eel Marsh House, situated way out on a small island where the road to it is only accessible when the tide is out. Mrs. Drablow had lived there with her husband, young son and her sister Jennet. Strange things have been going on there, and matters aren't helped by the recent deaths of several young children in the area. Whenever the title character, a ghost who may or may not be the spirit of Mrs. Drablow, appears to someone, a child near that person will be compelled to commit suicide. Of course, Arthur sees her soon enough.
Arthur, already finding few friends in the town (aside from landowner Sam Daily, played by Ciaran Hinds), discovers that the ghost may be out for revenge after the Drablow child was drowned years ago. As he further investigates the history of the Drablow family, Arthur discovers that his own son, on his way to the village with the Nanny to spend a weekend with him, may possibly be in danger....
A solid, compelling and powerful work, The Woman in Black has an undercurrent tone of tragedy and despair. The scenes of young children casually committing suicide as the adults watch helplessly, Arthur's encounters with the ghost and other strange manifestations, the hostility of the citizens towards Arthur, and the unrelentingly grim and nasty atmosphere throughout the village and Eel Marsh set the mood for the film's powerful climax. Director James Watkins, with Jane Goldman's sceenplay, sets a steady but forceful pace. The cast, which also includes Janet McTeer, Liz White and Alisa Khazanova, is excellent.
Make a date with The Woman in Black. You won't want to watch it alone.
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