Thursday, 13 May 2010

The Woman in Black

Hammer Films are to make a 3D movie of Susan Hill's novel. According to the press release:

The Woman in Black 3D is produced by Simon Oakes for Exclusive's Hammer Films label and Richard Jackson at Talisman Films. Exclusive's Nigel Sinclair and East are serving as Executive Producers, along with Roy Lee for Vertigo Entertainment (The Ring). Jane Goldman (Kick-Ass) is adapting the screenplay, based on Susan Hill's best-selling novel. Production is expected to begin in the Fall of 2010.

The Woman in Black follows a young lawyer, Arthur Kipps, who is ordered to travel to a remote village and sort out a recently deceased client's papers. As he works alone in the client's isolated house, Kipps begins to uncover tragic secrets, and his unease grows when he glimpses a mysterious woman dressed only in black. 


Oscar Solis said...

One can only hope this is good and that the filmmakers respect the original novel (why do I feel that won't be the case?), which eshews cheap scare tactics and instead goes for a true feeling of dread.

While the first filmed version was pretty good (when compared to normal genre outings) it had a decidedly weak ending. Still, it's better than most of the so called ghost stories that have been made through the years. In fact, the last really great cinematic ghost story was, for my money, The Devil's Backbone.

valdemar said...

I agree, Oscar - I've not seen a better screen ghost story than The Devil's Backbone in recent years, though I think The Orphanage runs it pretty close.

Most TV adaptations of ghost stories are poor. I think it's hard to maintain the necessary feeling of ambiguity when you're working in such a literal medium. Something is either shown or not shown. In a story we can often be left satisfyingly confused as to whether a character - usually a man/woman alone - has experienced the things narrated. Not so on TV.

Oscar Solis said...

Excellent point. A case can be made for Julia by Peter Straub. Are there truly supernatural forces at work or is Julia the true perpetrator of all the "ghostly" events in the story. I've never settled it in my mind. Still, a satisfying read. As for the film (titled The Haunting of Julia here in the states, Full Circle in England), the filmmakers manage to keep that ambiguity at work, even till the end. Is the ghost really there or is it all in Julia's mind?

By the way, almost every person I've ever shown or recommended the film to has found it, not just chilling, but also disturbing, all the more for it's tragic ending. For me, it's both, as well as being that rarest of filmed ghost stories: haunting.

valdemar said...

That one has passed me by. It sounds good, but I can't recall anyone mentioning it before. I must rent it.

I wonder if genuine ambiguity is resented by studio executives? They seem to think the public are very stupid.

Oscar Solis said...

I think both parties are guilty