Wednesday, 25 January 2012

ϟ#178 The Woman In Black - Review + Premiere

Written By Charlotte O'Sullivan

If you like your ghost movies subtle, look away now. Back in 1983, Susan Hill wrote 
an exquisitely restrained gothic yarn about a cheerful lawyer called Arthur Kipps, 
sent to a village to sort out the papers of Mrs Drablow, inhabitant of an isolated 
mansion called Eel Marsh House. Hill's villagers are wary but sensible folk, no deaths 
take place while Kipps is in the region and the titular "woman", Jennet, is a single, 
solitary ghost. In Hammer Horror's reworking of the story, our hero (Daniel Radcliffe) 
is a cash-strapped widower, pale and neurotic. Meanwhile, the townsfolk are nuts, 
violent deaths are two a penny and the undead are legion. It shouldn't work, but 
somehow it does. Kipps, you will be astonished to learn, does not get a good night's 
sleep when he stays over at Eel Marsh House. Cruel-eyed dolls, loud bangs, a bloody 
creature in the bedsheets ...Watching him blunder around the haunted mansion is like 
being strapped into an unhinged fairground ride: scary, funny and genuinely jolting. 
For all the tweaking, you see, screenwriter Jane Goldman stays true to the spirit of 
Hill's story. Hill's anti-heroine is a disenfranchised mother who turns the tables on 
respectable folk. Similarly, in the film, there's nothing the living can do to contain 
Jennet's fury. Her unhealthy passion defines the narrative. She gets the last word 
(or, in this case, look). Does that bode ill for Radcliffe, an actor desperate to break 
with the past? (The Woman In Black marks his first appearance in a big-budget, 
non-HP movie). The project won't silence his critics. It should, however, swing 
floating voters. His occasional woodenness fits with the schlock and when he's good, 
he's gripping. Seems there's life in the old boy yet. Harry Potter, RIP.

+ here is some pictures of Dan & Cian at the Premiere yesterday :

1 comment:

Liesewies said...

Nice photos, looking forward to see the movie :)