Wednesday, 22 February 2012

The Woman In Black (1989)

Due to the release of the 2012 remake, I felt it worthy to check out the original before the remake - and I'm so glad I did.  This was a really good slow burner, with a dreary atmosphere throughout and when the jump moments arrived, they really had an effect.

The movie focuses on a lawyer, Arthur Kidd, who's just recently started a family.  The newborn baby is interfering with his work life so he's given a chance at getting back into the regards of his boss by handling the minor details for a recently deceased video.  He's sent away to a coastal village for a week to get her affairs in order - but what he uncovers is far more grim than the death of an old woman and he is haunted by a mysterious woman in black as a sinister tale unravels.

The mystery aspect of this movie is engrossing enough to keep it interesting throughout.  If anything you're going to watch on to find out some answers.  However, the addition of the extremely creeper woman in black really provides some creepy moments.  She doesn't speak, she doesn't even move that much, but she looks twisted.  So a strength of the movie is the story and the pay offs from the slow burn.  Another great thing about it is the atmosphere throughout, enhanced by the countryside and seaside location.  Our lead actor does a great job here to, with a descent into paranoia and madness.  There's also aspects of the 'whole village knows something they're not telling you.'

Good or bad as the remake may be, at least it's made people aware of the original and I really hope those who don't like the remake give the original a chance because it really is a gem.  It's engrossing throughout, eerie, creepy, chilling and smart.  Anyone who dismisses horror movies as trash needs to be forced to watch this, because it's a smart horror film and more importantly, it's entertaining.  We'll here this being called a 'supernatural thriller/drama' but trust me, it's ghostly horror at its finest.

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