Woman In Black: Competition

Courtesy of the lovely people from the Odeon on Head Street, Colchester we have some Woman In Black goodies to give away! There is a T-shirt, mug and torch up for grabs; in the spirit of all films scary just write a 200-500 review of the scariest film you have ever seen! Then all you have to do is send it to either myself at gbailea@essex.ac.uk or my deputy at njeffr@essex.ac.uk by the 7th of March and the goodies could be yours! The best entry will win the goodies and appear on the blog itself and in the Rabbit Film section in the next issue. Good luck film lovers!!

T-shirt (back)

T-shirt (front)

The lovely mug.

And finally the torch to make sure there isn’t anything hiding in the shadows.

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Woman In Black: Review

Words by Greg Bailey

As seen at the Odeon on Head Street Colchester

This picture harks back to the day of the atmospheric horror film. The story infolds in the late 19th century in a spectacularly sinister looking house. Authentic costumes and well build set establishes the mood and tone from the very beginning. The very isolation of the haunted mansion accentuates the menacing air surrounding this story.

Daniel Radcliffe plays Arthur Kipps a lawyer who still suffers from the loss of his wife which occurred during childbirth. This torment he carries impedes his ability to work successfully at the law firm that employs him. It has also left him experiencing visions of his wife in her wedding dress; she is seemly his woman in white. Kipps is instructed to take on a job to prove his dedication to his firm and to show he is ready to move on with his life. The assignment takes place in a secluded village in the outer reaches of England. Here he must sort through the papers of the Eel Marsh House to settle the financial and legal dealings of the estate.

For what should be a straight forward job for Kipps is soon inundated with strange characters, buried secrets, peculiar deaths of children and the ominous sightings of a woman in jet black funeral attire. What ensues is a symphony of frights that will have you jumping, your heart thumping and your anticipation levels destroying your nerves! Huge scares that are generated by loud thuds, bumps and crashes are interwoven with the use of demonic looking toys, disturbing self-propelled rocking chairs, frightened villagers and the eeriest of locations. The feeling of dread is heightened by the vastly scarier slower scenes and materialisation and brief glimpses of the evil spirit herself. The continuous targeting of children keeps a cloud of traumatisation and feeling of helpless surrounding all of those at the mercy of the demonic spectre.

I was not sure if Radcliffe could deliver what was required of such a role; and this feeling was almost confirmed once the film had started. I was unconvinced at his fatherhood and demeanour. But when the drama unfolded Radcliffe’s ability was apparent, his facial expressions, panic and body language was genuine and unnerving. The ending was a great unexpected twist and it was good to see that the “happy ending” route was not adopted. Though this film was not the most frightening I have ever seen it was a fantastic experience. Riveting, tension building, steeped in atmosphere with attentive attention to detail; this film is thrilling start to end.

Review: The Others

Words by Naomi Jefferys

“Now children, are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin…This story started many thousands of years ago, and it was all over in just 7 days.”

The opening lines to Alejandro Amenabar’s brilliant The Others. The film has a stellar cast, with Christopher Eccelstone, Eric Sykes and Nicole Kidman taking on the title role of Grace Stewart, a catholic mother who lives in a remote country house in Jersey with her children. The new arrival of three servants, an elderly gardener, a young mute girl and an aging nanny and servant.

The film is basically a Haunted House thriller, with a surprising twist. Amenabar is able to create a dreamy, timeless atmosphere. Unlike typical scary films which rely on special effects and a big budget. Amenabar is able to create a film which involves a normal, frightened woman in a disturbing situation.

Nicole Kidman carries the film, the audience literally sees her sanity and her life unfolding. The events are so elusive that I won’t even try to explain them, as I don’t want to give the game away. What is more, the film feels typically British. The setting is a grandiose with the house laced in oak doors and drawing rooms.

So, if you like atmospheric and spine tingling film which stars the brilliant Nicole Kidman and the equally excellent Christopher Eccelstone then rent it on DVD!