Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist

The Woman In Black (1989)

Susan Hill hated it.


No idea. Perhaps it annoyed her that it was so much better than the book.

That's unfair. You haven't read the book.

I've read other other things by her. I found them unsatisfactory. 

And the film is satisfactory?

Very much so. The scariest thing ever committed to celluloid.


Well, there are other contenders, but this is a neglected gem. 


Lots of atmosphere. A meticulous recreation of period (early 1920s). Low-key, naturalistic acting.  An inspired choice of locations. A slow build up of tension, a slight releasing of tension (very cunning) and then the most tremendous shock. Followed by a scarcely less tremendous aftershock. The film makers  (writer : Nigel Kneale, director: Herbert Wise) have understood how the classic ghost story works. The principle is very simple: the more we believe in the world we're being shown the more we'll believe in the supernatural incursions- and the more frightening we'll find them.

Are you saying the remake is unnecessary?

I haven't seen it, so no. But I'll bet it's not as scary. 

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