Monday, September 10, 2012

A Chilling New Gothic Classic

I just watched "The Woman In Black", and let me tell you, it's scary!
I was home alone, so I had to cling to my German Shepherd for comfort during the really scarey scenes. Usually my dear husband is the one who holds my hand, but he wasn't available, but Fritz, my 2 year old shepherd was most happy to sit on the sofa with me and let me snuggled him from protection.

I must say, it's rare that a Gothic story gets me that spooked, and I give praise to the director for taking the story and creating a very seriously creepy movie that is destined to become a cult classic. It's set in th late Victorian age, about the turn of the 20th century.

Daniel Radcliffe stars in a adult role in this thriller written by Susan Hill. He's a widower named Arthur Kripp, a lawyer who is sent by his firm to a remote village in England to find the correct will after a rich woman dies and leaves her estate papers in shambles. He has lost his wife, and has reached rock bottom. His son is about four years old, and doesn't want him to go out of town for this job. Arthur is in arrears financially, and his boss at the firm makes it clear that if he can't complete this job, he'll be let go from the firm. So, Arthur travels by train to the remote seaside village and is met by cold shoulders and anger at every turn. Arthur goes to the deserted manor house to find the papers, against the advice of the local lawyer and other villagers. The house is seriously creepy, a pure goth delight. The interior is dark, moody, and full of spooky atmosphere, the perfect setting for a ghost story.

As Arthur goes through the widow's papers at the empty manor house, he hears odd noises, and has strange sensations as things brush past him. He looks out the window at one point and sees a woman in black on the deserted grounds. He goes outside to try to find her, but to no avail. Instead, he finds a grave. Meanwhile, he goes to town and children immediately start dying. He can't understand it, but each time he encounters a child, they seem to die shortly thereafter, violently. The townspeople try to make him leave by force, but won't tell him why this is happening in their village. As the mob closes in he is rescued by the local gentry, Mr. Daily, played by Ciaran Hinds. Mr. Daily offers him a room at his mansion, and Arthur meets Daily's disturbed wife. The Daily's have also lost a child, and the mother is grieving, and has a strange affliction/gift as she as sometimes able to channel her child. Her husband just thinks she's nuts, but she's actually giving Arthur a few clues as to the strange woman in black and her purpose in the area. 

Poor Arthur is alone at the Haunted Mansion, but really not alone!             

Determined to follow through with his job, lest his employer let him go if he does not, he keeps searching through the papers at the mansion. He discovers some very disturbing things as he does so. A child of the owners died years ago. He finds letters from the birth mother, the old widow's sister, accusing her of taking her child from her, and of being responsible for the child's death.  The woman in black is the birth mother. She's haunting the house and the villagers, taking their children from them one by one for reasons unknown. She's a very angry ghost! Arthur is being stalked by her. The toys in the dead child's room start to play (wind up toys) in the middle of the night. He sees strange shadows and things brush past him. This movie is brilliant in that it's not about what you see, it's what is implied behind the scenes. There were some seriously creepy scenes using the children's mechanized toys. Scary little ghost children who aren't very nice!  Talk about a high creep factor.
Arthur's scared, wouldn't you be, all alone in a mansion with lots of ghosts?

Arthur came to the remote village to find legal papers at the house of a dead client. Easy job, right? He ends up finding a desolate house full of ghosts and dark secrets. He is isolated and alone, and is stalked by a woman in black as he tries to prevent her from taking more children to the grave in her mad quest for vengeance.  Watch the movie, you won't be disappointed. But my advice, watch it with a friend!
Watch the Movie Trailer

Chills to you, 

Lilith Bloodrose