Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Rare Flix: The Woman in Black (1989)

Expecto Rare Flixo!  Today's film is The Woman in Black- the original Film version made in England.  Before a Dutch Company bought out the Hammer name and Produced new films like Let Me In (a Remake of a Swedish film Directed by an American and Starring an Australian) and 2012's The Woman in Black.  This was made in England and released as a TV Movie on Christmas in 1989.  I guess they had to play Horror Films on Christmas before they started running Dr. Who every year.  The film is about a young man from an Appraising Office checking on a property out in the Countryside, only to find a dark history attached to it.  I won't hold back on SPOILERS here, but that's because I have no idea if the Remake changes anything or not.  If it doesn't, oops.  One thing that is quite notable about this Rare film is its Star: Adrian Rawlins.  While not a big name here, he did play one role that alot of people younger than myself will know: Harry Potter's Dad.  It's true- the guy who played Harry Potter was Cast in the same role as the guy who played his dad twenty-odd years later.  I can't imagine that it is intentional- life is just weird like that!  To find out what it was like Previously in Black, read on...
Rawlins is sent out to the lovely (and foggy) countryside to check out an Estate for his Boss.  He calls his Boss on not going himself...but not much comes from it.
In true Creaky House Tale-style, he talks to people in the Village and can't get clear answers.  He also sees a mysterious figure lurking in the background as he does so.
Let's just say that she looks better far away than up close & leave it at that.
In fitting with the tale's timeline, our hero investigates the tale by looking at old documents and playing Wax Cylinder Recordings.  Archaic Technology- how fun!
Our hero gets a little freaked when he keeps seeings the silent Woman in Black and starts to hear ghostly sounds of death.  I kind of like that you never see the wagon crash that plays such a big role in the Story, since it allows you to imagine it.

Since he's so scared, he gets company- a tiny dog.
The harrowing landscape and experience is making him a little...well, crazy.

When you start to resemble Eraserhead, it is a bad sign.
He continues to try and find the answers, but finally reaches his breaking point.  In his defense, seeing this face when I wake up would do it to me too!
When he finally recovers back home, he resumes his search for the answers.  Having them denied once more, he takes a more drastic approach.
In spite of being fired (pun fully intended), he seeks to move on with his life and family.  They go out for a paddle boat ride..but the Woman in Black returns and causes a tree to fall, killing them.

Oak no!  The End.
It is a good film, provided you understand how films used to be.  While the film is not that old (coming on 25 years now), it has the feel of a much older one.  That can be a blessing or a curse, really.  If you like that kind of thing, it is right up your alley.  If you just love blood, guts and jump scares, you're just going to say that the film is boring.  Honestly, the Reviews has only taken this long due to technical issues on my side (which don't come up when just watching a Disc).  Just sitting through the film was no chore.  It would be nice if the film would be on DVD here in the United States, but there is apparently some confusion about the rights to it.  It is nice to see that modern technology can make stuff like this available if the simple idea of just 'releasing films/TV Shows available on DVD/Blu-Ray' is too hard for some people!  For better or worse, it feels like a Story that aims to be older than it is.  Apparently the Novella is from 1983 and anything from that year is definitely not old!  The Story clearly works for someone as the play is the second-longest running one in The West End!  As for the film, it is going to be a bit divisive.  It also makes me want to look into the 2012 Film now (since I should have already to begin with!).  As for me, I am going to continue to never go Fishing based on what I might see...
Up next, another dose of Rare Flix from one of the most infamous Directors of all-time.  How can you make a topical Courtroom Drama so tacky?  Stay tuned...

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