So on Superbowl Sunday, I went and saw Woman in Black, and I just had to share with you all what I thought. I know, I know, it's neither obscure or luchatastic, but honestly I have to say that this film is probably the best film interpretation I've ever seen of La Llorona.
La Llorona, ah yes, every Hispanic child's nightmare engraved by parents and grandparents across the Americas. The legend of Llorona is essentially this:
A woman falls in love with a man who is of wealth and lineage, most likely a Spaniard, and she bears two of his children during this romance. But he never lives with her, he never marries her, and eventually cuts off this affair, possibly to return to Spain with another woman. In hysteria, she drowns her children and by the time she realizes what she has done, she has gone completely mad. Some stories say she committed suicide, others say she wandered the banks of rivers wailing through bubbling tears, "Ayyyy mis hijos!!" until she wasted away. Now her spirit haunts the rivers, snatching young children who shouldn't be playing so close to a wild river. It's also said she attracts young men from afar, and then scares them with her haunting look of death, sending them back to live a life of fidelity.
Woman in Black carries many of these themes, and it's so exciting that it took the famous kings of British Horror, Hammer Studios, to bring this to theaters all over. The Woman in Black is a tale of a woman who is torn away from her child, possibly due to mental illness, and then she witnesses the death of her child through the attic she is left in as a prison. She offs herself, and her mad spirit haunts the town, killing children with vengeance. Daniel Radcliffe, of Harry Potter fame, plays Arthur Kipps, an out of town accountant who has come to settle some finances in the home of the Woman in Black, and this outsider soon realizes the town is hiding a dark secret.
I was afraid I would see Mr. Radcliffe and unable to shake Harry Potter from my mind, but he was a solid actor. Not one note of Harry Potter showed through in his acting, but this could be possibly be due to the fact I've only seen two of those films. I really thought he was great though. The direction, the setting, the effects, all together were wonderful. This is by far the best 21st century horror movie I have seen, hands down. I honestly hate the turn of horror these days with "torture porn" and ultra violence. I prefer the classic Universal and Hammer Studios where the gothic victorian horror is overwhelming, and the overall feel is a crescendo of chills going down your spine. Setting, and subtly are key to a good film like this.
I'm not going to give this a thorough review, simply because I can't ultra analyse it with multiple viewings, and snatch a few screenshots. But I will say, if you are a horror fan like me, you will enjoy this film! Cheers to Hammer Studio, I can't wait to see what else you will be doing in the future.
Please don't confuse Arthur Kipps with that boy with the stick and the scar.