Friday, June 1, 2012

"The Woman in Black" (2012)

Hammer Horror is making an effort to come back from the dead. They are not yet up to the level that they used to achieve, but progress is visible. Their previous effort “Let Me In” was a well made effort, but it did not have the Hammer aesthetic nor was it much of a good old-fashioned morality play.

With this year’s “The Woman in Black” they were in good form reproducing the atmosphere and mood of old Hammer. But however unintentional the old movies stumbled upon reaffirming stories of good vs. evil, this film is devoid of any sort of message. To be honest, there is not much of a plot here at all.

Ghost stories are to prose what optical illusions are to graphic art. They are basically a gimmick and they are enjoyed for the disjointing affect they produce when read or heard. They do not tend to carry huge characterization or message, and that is why they work best as short stories. The quality ghost novel is a rare thing, and usually written less for a fear inducing effect than to make a point.

“The Woman in Black” is more amusement park thrill ride than story. It doesn’t even make sense to point out all of the inconsistencies and plot holes, because the film doesn’t really care about them. It is all about jumps, eerie feelings and scaring the audience out of its wits. And, at least for a first viewing, it pulls it off. When you go back for a second look aware of all the scares it doesn’t work on that level anymore, but the artistry is still top notch. Now if only Hammer will combine that with some quality stories.

1 comment:

  1. I have read a few good reviews on this movie. Some co-workers of mine at Dish told me I should rent this because it makes you jump. I actually ran across it on Blockbuster @Home in Blu-ray, so I should be getting it in the mail shortly. I can not wait to watch this movie. I love getting scared and it'll be weird seeing Daniel acting as someone else other then Harry Potter.


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