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March 12th, 2012


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03:13 pm - The Woman in Black
The TV version of The Woman in Black was aired on Christmas Eve 1989. It scared the life out of me, but I have never seen it repeated. If you get a chance to see it, I think it's worth checking out. The protagonist was played by Adrian Rawlins (who later played James Potter). Now Daniel Radcliffe has taken the same role in the film version. This film is said to be the highest grossing British horror film of all time.

I saw it a couple of days ago and it's - you know - OK-ish. I think the reason it is doing so well is that it is a little bit scary and atmospheric, but not disturbing or challenging. Also it's a 12 certificate so it's as near to family-friendly as a horror film can be. The horror factor is almost entirely supplied by

JUMPY SHOCKS!!


And there's nothing to take away with you, nothing to trouble your mind once the film is done. Keep away from sinister haunted houses with grim legends attached to them and you should be OK. The take-away message is probably more comforting than disturbing.

Radcliffe is also OK-ish. He seems like a decent chap, doing his best. I mean both the character and the actor. Someone like (say) Martin Freeman would have made this unbearable poignant. I think Radcliffe's lack of power gentles the film and makes it more user-friendly.

In conclusion, I think this is a horror film which has pulled its punches, and contained its horror in safe bounds, and probably that's why it is doing so well.

(8 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:londonkds
Date:March 12th, 2012 03:19 pm (UTC)
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Almost all such claims about cinema box office are worthless anyway, as they're hardly ever adjusted for inflation. (As I understand it, adjusted for inflation nothing has ever beaten Gone With The Wind on first release.)
[User Picture]
From:communicator
Date:March 12th, 2012 03:24 pm (UTC)
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Yes, that's a fair comment. The heyday of Brit Horror was forty years ago. Nevertheless, I think this is probably outperforming more challenging recent films. I have mixed feelings. I'd like to see Hammer Horrow rising again like some reanimated corpse. But this is a pretty tame sample.
[User Picture]
From:redstarrobot
Date:March 12th, 2012 03:34 pm (UTC)
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I have a gestating bit of thinkiness about the sanitization of media since the '70s and '80s, which ties in here because the only other comment I've seen on the film is someone adamant that the 12A was far, far too low a rating, and it ought to have been much higher, because it was almost too terrifying for adults.
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From:communicator
Date:March 12th, 2012 03:39 pm (UTC)
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To be fair I probably wouldn't take a 12 year old to see it, and the Jumpy Shocks did make me jump. But in the end it was like having been on a fairground ride: everyone in the cinema screamed and then laughed at themselves for screaming. Shock but no Awe.
[User Picture]
From:dalmeny
Date:March 13th, 2012 10:51 am (UTC)
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I saw the stage show a few years ago. It was unengaging, unoriginal and not very scary. I would very much like to support Hammer's resurrection, but I may give this a miss.
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From:communicator
Date:March 13th, 2012 07:32 pm (UTC)
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It's a nice production. Nothing wrong with it, but not an encounter with terror by any means.
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From:tehomet
Date:March 14th, 2012 10:53 am (UTC)
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Yes, indeed. The other factor being all the HP fans going to see it because of the casting. A friend of mine went to see it. There were teenagers shouting, 'Use your wand, Harry!' at points in it.
[User Picture]
From:communicator
Date:March 14th, 2012 10:58 am (UTC)
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Oh no, really? What a future lies ahead of him.

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