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Helena Hamilton | Contributing Writer | Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Get Your Buzz Back On New Years Day And Go And Watch The Woman In Black: Angel Of Death

The Debrief: It's set to be 2015's scariest film

What’s this then? Did you see the film adaption of The Woman in Black back in 2012? It was huge, the most commercially successful British horror film ever; partly due to the fact it was an adaption of one of the most popular stage shows in the West End, and based on a best-selling book by Susan Hill. You can see why they wanted to make another.
 
So who is this Woman?
The Woman in Black is the ghost of a mother who watched her young son drown. As way of filling the void her ghost haunts her old home Eel Marsh House with a group of ghost children, victims of her insistence to kill every child who sees her.



Jesus! Looks scary. It’s terrifying. Terr-i-fying. The story itself is sinister, but director Tom Harper (The Scouting Book for Boys) creates so much tension through sound and pace, particularly in the second half of the film, that you leave the cinema in desperate need of a full body massage. There are jump-out-of-your-skin moments every 5 minutes.
 
So what’s the plot this time?
It’s the Second World War and Eve, is evacuated to Eel Marsh House with eight children and her colleague the strict, no-nonsense headmistress Mrs Hogg .The night before they leave London an air raid has orphaned the smallest of the evacuees, Edward, so he’s silent and thoughtful but no one can get him to speak. On the train Eve befriends a handsome RAF pilot called Harry, who she later kisses (a bit too quickly and with not enough tongue, if you ask us). Fit Harry is the first person to believe Eve when she suspects that dodgy stuff is going on at Eel Marsh House.
 
What kinda stuff?
Well, the first night they arrive Eve gets woken up by the loud, banging sound of a rocking chair moving in the basement, and when she goes to inspect it she finds a creepy message on the wall. Also, on the first day, the door to the nursery full of weird, old toys is inexplicably unlocked, and when a bully shuts Edward in there the door locks, trapping the little pudding inside he comes face to face with TWIB, and shit really hits the fan.
 
Who’s in it?
Anne Hathaway lookalike Phoebe Fox takes the lead as Eve. She’s a relatively unknown actress at the moment, but we’re keeping our eye on her in 2015. Jeremy Irvine (War Horse) plays Fit Harry, nailing the role of brave yet broken war hero and the reason behind a national surge in sales of aviator jackets with oversized collars. Helen McCrory (Peaky Blinders) is amazing as the super strict Mrs Hogg, channelling a bit of Downton Abbey’s Violet Crawley, and a special shout-out has to go to wee Oaklee Pendergast who plays Edward. Little Oaklee has an intense look throughout the film that makes you want to both squeeze his little cheeks and get the fuck away from whatever’s going on in his head.
 
So what do we think?
We liked the way TWIB’s characteristics have been developed, so rather than just showing up in a rocking chair as we’ve previously seen her she’s actively crawling around the house, creeping from holes in ceilings and running away from Eve in the woods.  The amount of times we jumped out of our skin during the press screening was completely humiliating. Like all great gothic and horror films you really care about the characters involved and the house, which in reality is an actual derelict military hospital in Lincolnshire, creates a ridiculously eerie setting. Definitely go see it, but for god’s sake don’t do it alone.

The Woman in Black is out January 1st

Book tickets here.

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Tags: Film