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The Woman in Black (2012)
A good old fashioned scare
I was slightly concerned that this film would turn out to be Harry Potter: The Period Drama, but thankfully, I was wrong.
Despite his youth, Daniel Radcliffe manages to pull off his character fairly convincingly and leaves the Harry Potter alter ego at Hogwarts.
The film itself is the latest adaptation of Susan Hill's original novel of the same name and marks a triumphant return to the age old classic ghost story format. Although slow in places, Watkins keeps up the suspense throughout and manages to deliver a few unexpected jumps, even for a horror aficionado like me.
A great night out at the cinema that will leave you hiding behind your popcorn.
I should begin by qualifying my position in the Twilight 'spectrum' as being firmly in the centre of what is a hostile battle between the book loving uber-fans and the self righteous saga-snobs.
I haven't read any of Stephenie Meyer's novels but her success suggests that she's doing something right and, up until now, I have enjoyed the blockbuster adaptations. Sadly, I always suspected that the fourth instalment would struggle to live up to the emotionally charged hype of its legion of fans, and I was right.
Many have drawn comparisons between the Harry Potter series, which also split the last book into two films. Being in the book loving uber-fan category of Harry Potter fans, and given the rich complexity of the story in the final book, I understood this decision, however even I felt some cynicism towards the motivation behind it. In the case of Twilight, without actually knowing what is to come in the conclusion of the series, I can see no other reason for splitting the book than financial reward.
In my opinion, the entire content of Breaking Dawn Part 1 can be condensed into about 40 minutes, less if you're really stuck: Wedding; Honeymoon; Pregnancy; Birth; Death; Red eyes. That's about the size of it; everything else is largely irrelevant filler. Most films like this start with a 'scene setting' phase before getting into the meat and bones of the story and then end with the climax, yet I found myself about 45 minutes in wondering when we were going to leave the 'scene setting' phase. That said, even the most content bursting follow up would have the space to accommodate the Part 1 preamble.
It had too much angst, not enough content, a worse than usual soundtrack, and cheesier than usual dialogue and was redeemed only by its exciting 30 minute climax (although the overly gory birth scene could have been toned down).
I can only hope that the saga will be saved by the final instalment, and who knows, I may even decide to read the books after all.