When a lawyer still grieving from the loss of his wife is dispatched to a remote village to settle the estate of a deceased recluse, he discovers a vengeful ghost of a woman is terrorizing the locals.
The newly resurrected Hammer Studios’ sophomore effort (I don’t count Let Me In… a fucking remake? How insulting) isn’t much to talk about. In an attempt to evoke the beautiful and dreary atmospheres of Hammer films past, The Woman in Black is set in a bleak foggy little village, complete with crabby locals and plenty of mist and darkness. The film is actually quite beautifully shot, and Harry Potter does a decent job in the role of protagonist “Sad Lawyer Guy”. Sorry, I rarely remember the names of characters in films.
Anyway, Sad Lawyer Guy mopes about trying to get this dead old crone’s estate in order which (surprise!) nobody in the village wants anything to do with and as a result will extort him to no end when he tries to catch a ride. The house is on its own isolated little island, with this road that magically doesn’t wash away when the ocean tide comes in and obscures travel to and from the estate every day. Needless to say we have Harry Potter making that face he makes a lot and stumbling about an old house and getting picked on by old smarmy Englishmen. Then there’s the house… creaks, groans, children’s toys activating all on their own, invisible people in rocking chairs… standard ghostly house fare. And this is where the film falls flat. Unfortunately instead of making a competent film that may elicit a sense of fear and dread from the viewer, they simply resort to cheap jump scares and grating ghost sounds throughout its entirety. Fuck! It’s a bird! Oh fuck! That guy just burst into the room after a tense scene! Fuck! The ghost lady is making my eardrums bleed again! You get the idea.
Evidently the film made money, as an apparent sequel is in the works (thanks to Nom for that tidbit). This is also something Hammer never really did (and no all those Dracula and Frankenstein movies don’t count, jackass!). This does not bode well for our once beloved studio. And here I was slightly impressed that The Resident
wasn’t as awful as I was expecting.
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Duane co-founded The Church of Splatter-Day Saints in 2005. When not immersed in film he's enjoying good whiskey, smoking meat in the backyard or thinking about sluts. He makes a damn fine habanero fire sauce.