Monday, 23 July 2012

wake wood (david keating - 2011) and the woman in black (james whatkins - 2012)

I don't usually watch that much horror, although l used to be a big fan when l was a nipper, buying Monster magazine, making models of Dracula etc and trying to catch all the Hammer House of Horror movies (with varying results).  The old films were great, lots of over the top and sometimes camp acting, and with copious amounts of blood and gore (plus bare boobs).  These two films are both recent Hammer efforts, and both of them had their moments, but to me at least, The Woman In Black was much superior (even without the boobs).

Wake Wood has a young girl being attacked by a dog and dying from her injuries. The parents move to a small village, and then discover a way to bring her back from the dead for three days only, so they can 'say their goodbyes', as long as she hasn't been dead for longer than a year.  Go on - you know what's going to happen don't you?  Of course they lie because her death occured just over a year before, so there are naturally consequences because of this.  It had homages to 'Death in Venice', and some decent moments, but it wasn't scary in the least.


The Woman In Black featured Harry Potter himself (Daniel Radcliffe) as Arthur Kipps, heading to another small village in search of documents regarding an old estate and will.  He is made to feel not welcome, but carries on with his job, heading to the remote house on a deserted island.  Children have been dying in mysterious circumstances, and he starts to hear (and investigate) strange noises, sightings, and general disturbances in and out of the home.  There are some good jumpy moments, and although the film had many classic horror moments, meaning you (OK, me) could forecast some of the shocks and plot developments, it was still done in a good way and, especially when contrasted with Wake Wood, was one of the better recent horror movies l have seen.  Screenplay was by Jane Goldman (Jonathan Ross' wife), and much as l am against nepotism and jobs for boys (or girls) due to fame and connections (a pop column at 16 for example), she must be praised for doing a sterling job.  As for Radcliffe, he was mostly silent and looking scared (yet brave), and it was difficult to tell what kind of performance l was witness to, but overall, l would say adequate, but nothing special.

toodle pip

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