Note from the Editor

We live in an amazing world. We are surrounded by truly awesome and epic processes that we take for granted. From the unparalleled beauty and incredible ingenuity of nature, to the fact we are living in age where technology is rife and we can virtually act on our ideas simultaneously to their conception. Though there is still much hardness and strife in the world, we now live in a time where people who care can make difference.

If we just look at history we will see a vast plethora of remarkable occurrences that happened when simply surviving itself was an achievement. Ancient civilizations flourished and produced astonishing, baffling structures, great wars were fought, great locations discovered and great people were born who changed the world. From as early as history itself legends have been recounted throughout successive generations. For example the story of Noah and the Ark has been passed down since ancient civilisations began.

The accounts that hold extra significance are those originating from true events. The bare fact that a story is based on truth causes the actions of those involved to become more poignant. We instantly assume the position of the lead protagonist and ask ourselves if our approach would have been the same.

As you can imagine some of the best films ever produced are based on true stories. ‘Schindler’s List’, ‘Goodfellas’ and ‘Raging Bull’ are all fine examples the cinematic approach to telling their stories. There is a huge abundance of this film genre and there is not enough ink or trees in the world to provide them with the justice they deserve. This issue will be focusing on those ‘true stories’ that have been produce since the turn of the millennia. I have noticed that since then there is a large increase in the production films ‘based on true events’. I think this is regarding a number of reasons; firstly the fact that if we think that what plays out on the screen really happened then we are more inclined to believe it; secondly more people are likely to go and see the film if they think the events played out in reality originally. The problem is that a few film makers have taken the artistic license to a new level and essentially changed the real story into the formulaic crap studios churn out on a daily basis. In the next post I have chosen a handful to good and bad films in relation to how closely they honoured the truth.

Also keep an this coming Friday as the winner of the Woman in Black competition will be posted along with their winning review. If you missed the this one do not fear you can enter the new ‘Safehouse’ competition will be here which is coming this Friday. There are some awesome goodies to be won courtesy of those amazing people at Odeon on Head St. Colchester and Universal Studios including; a hoodie, bag, memory stick, passport holder and top of the range GPS tracker (yes that does say GPS tracker!). Full details will be released this friday, good luck film lovers!

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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.

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.