The Woman In Black ignites Hammer Films’ hopeful return to horror

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By Kayleigh Herbertson

Hammer Films has produced some of the unparalleled great characters of horror and brought them to the silver screen.

During their illustrious working career this production company brought us The Curse of Frankenstein, Dracula, The Mummy and multitudes of sequels that have all found their place in the history of horror cinema.

Notably, many of these characters found their initial place in historical fiction, creating terrifying monsters that also came to us from a setting in the past.

Unfortunately, the popularity of Hammer Films waned in the 70’s and 80’s until the company came into the 21st century having not produced a single film for years.

In 2007 the company was bought and produced a series of free MySpace webisodes presenting a contemporary vampire tale titled Beyond the Rave.

Soon after, Hammer Films worked on American thriller The Resident, and Let Me In, a remake of the Swedish vampire film Let The Right One In.

For all these titles Hammer has produced, it hasn’t really been a project of their own that reflects the grandeur and respect that this British company once demanded.

In 2009 they announced that a film adaptation of The Woman In Black was now on the cards and next month on February 4, this production will hit the silver screens.

Based on the 80’s novel, the story revolves around Aurthur Kipps, a young solicitor who is called upon to deal with the death of an elderly widower who lived alone in a remote marsh and deal with the empty estate.

Hearsay and rumours soon meet the young man regarding his work at the house, uncovering the traditional unspoken secrets and hidden lies that we find so often in horror.

Underneath it all is the tale of the woman in black, a child killer who always seeks revenge for being disturbed by strangers.

What may instantly appeal to those who have seen these kind of horror films being cranked out as quickly as possible (think the Saw franchise) is the period setting of The Woman in Black.

Period drama often leaves us thinking of ridiculous dresses and people talking about absolutely nothing.

Not to say that period horror hasn’t been touched on in recent years (The Others comes to mind) but it’s certainly not as common as romantic drama or historical pieces.

The Woman in Black is currently the second longest running play on the West End, certainly suggesting a compelling story and the trailers that Hammer have released suggest a return to darkened corridors and shocked young men doubting their own senses.
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Upon hearing that Daniel Radcliffe leads this film, some may make unfair assumptions about his acting ability.

Whilst the trailer obviously can’t give us a full picture of his ability, it certainly doesn’t give any suggestion that this British actor is out of his depth.

All trace of youth is swept from his face from the instant we see him; instead sporting a light dusting of stubble and an exhausted expression that only devolves into horror.

Free of cheap thrills and gimmicky storylines, this is a pure ghost story and a tale of revenge that isn’t about gruesome deaths so much as a slow descent into madness.

Coming out next month, give The Woman in Black a look if you’re a fan of horror. If the trailer is to be a sneak peak of the story in store then this may be Hammer Films’ glorious return to classic British horror.

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3 thoughts on “The Woman In Black ignites Hammer Films’ hopeful return to horror

  1. I definitely want to see this, which probably says volumes about the trailer, being the scaredy cat that I am. It certainly looks a lot more interesting than the usual horror movies these days.

  2. Pingback: Review: The Woman In Black | CULTURE BOMB

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