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Kapow! Adrian reports in on Hammer's The Woman In Black and more genre goodies!

Good afternoon from London. Still sunny here if you're interested. No? Ok fine.

Just got out of a presentation by Momentum about some of their big 2011 movies. First up was comedy-trailer-turned-into-actual-movie Hobo With a Shotgun, starring everyone's favourite replicant, Rutger Hauer. All we saw was the existing green band trailer, which was a bit of a let down, but I thoroughly recommend you check it out if you haven't already.

The PR people here were keen to stress the violence and gore, but I think it'll be an entertaining movie beyond that. Not much to go on yet though.

Red Hill is an Australian modern-day Western, which we also saw the trailer for. I tend to really enjoy Aussie movies anyway, and this looks like a corker for fans of the Western genre and films from down under. It stars Ryan Kwanten, Steve Bisley and Tom E Lewis.

The trailer for a Norwegian horror called 'Troll Hunter' came next - even the title fit a bit of applause from the audience. It's about a team of documentary film makers investigating some mysterious goings on at an isolation farm. Turns out it's trolls, who vary in size from human size to absolutely enormous, Godzilla scale monsters. It looks like a lot of fun.

Then the main part of the presentation, The Woman in Black and Insidious.

Director James Watkins was here on the panel to talk about The Woman in Black, which of course stars Hogwarts reprobate Daniel Radcliffe. We were also treated to the world premiere of the teaser trailer, though it was posted online about 5 minutes after the event finished.



It looks very spooky and potentially quite a fresh addition to the genre - being very English and old fashioned. One thing I didn't know is that Jane Goldman (Kick-Ass, X-Men: First Class) wrote the screenplay. Watkins said that when she sent it to him and he read it, he immediately wanted to make it. He claims it's definitely "very, very different" from the existing play, and the book, but that the movie remains "in the spirit" of both of those, while bigger "more epic, and yet still intimate".

He also paid tribute to Goldman's script, saying that she was the one who did all the heavy lifting on the project before he even got on board.

He says that the film is a "really pure form of horror", in which you "keep looking into the shadows and the blacks".

Watkins was also asked about why he picked Daniel Radcliffe for the lead role - and explained that it's partly because he's so committed to his work, but also that it was an interesting opportunity - because it was a chance to really re-invent the actor for the next stage in his career. Apparently Radcliffe really wanted to cut loose now that Potter is done, he's really happy to try to things now.

After wrapping on filming in December, they're now still editing the film, working on editing and effects at the moment - and they're expecting to finish by around June.

He finished by explaining the links with older Hammer films - and said that he wants this to be like one of the "classy, original ones, rather than the "later, naked vampire stuff".

So then came the Insidious panel. The film isn't out here yet, but I understand it is for you lucky people over in the States, so I won't spell too long on it. The director, James Wan, and the writer/actor Leigh Whannell were both on the panel today (they're the guys who did the first SAW).



They explained how they came up with the idea - it was when they were struggling and broke after film school, and Blair Witch had just come out. They wanted to come up with a film they could shoot for $5,000 in their garage. After a slew of ideas that never got going, they came up with the conceit for Insidious. But then soon after they also thought of the idea of "two guys chained up in a toilet" - and that was the project they picked. Shrewd choice, it turns out.

James said that they wanted to do a really old fashioned scary movie, and he hopes that's what they've done with Insidious. I haven't seen it myself yet, but to be honest wasn't blown away with the trailer. The pair were asked, inevitably, whether Insidious will turn into a massive franchise, like Saw did, or whether it will stand alone. They pointed out that Saw was always meant to be a standalone film.

I'll have more from London soon - Mark Millar has promised to sit down properly with me for a long chat later on over a pint, so I'll bring you that for sure!

Readers Talkback
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  • April 10, 2011, 4:46 p.m. CST


    by Angus

    Was at Kapow. Wasn't as good as Empire magazines Movie-Con.

  • April 10, 2011, 4:51 p.m. CST

    Sounds like some promising stuff overall.

    by ClayMatthews

  • April 10, 2011, 5:12 p.m. CST

    The Resident sucked...

    by MST3KPIMP

    at least I thought so.

  • April 10, 2011, 10:12 p.m. CST

    so classy?

    by deelzbub

    with big old english letters tattooed on the front of her throat? classy compared to what?

  • April 10, 2011, 10:13 p.m. CST

    heavy lifting

    by deelzbub

    she's used to it

  • April 11, 2011, 3:43 a.m. CST

    The TV version of THE WOMAN IN BLACK is stunning

    by palimpsest

    Made about 20 years ago; one of the great Nigel Kneale's final scripts. A shame they didn't show HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN especially as the movie's already been shown in the UK (last month's Bradford International Film Festival): And yeah, THE RESIDENT isn't a patch on Hammer's WAKE WOOD. Why that didn't get a proper cinema release I'll never know.

  • April 11, 2011, 5:01 a.m. CST

    Palimpsest - agreed

    by IWasInJuniorHighDickhead

    got it on dvd. Fucking terrifying.

  • April 11, 2011, 8:14 a.m. CST

    Red Hill is pretty good.

    by Cletus Van Damme

    Saw it about 2 months back via Netflix. Definitely worth checking out if you haven't.

  • April 11, 2011, 10:10 a.m. CST

    Woman in Black...

    by carlotta_valdes

    ...agree with both of you about the TV movie. It's not about jump scares so much as it is about the pervasive sense of menace in the thing throughout. Some people complain about the pace of it, but to me it actually adds to the feeling that you're right there with Arthur Kipp during everything. ...and when it pays pays off big, and you can never get that image out of your head (those that have seen it know what I'm talking about). If you can get a copy, it's best watched by yourself. Can you believe that this was first run on BBC on Xmas eve? Hope this new version can bring half of the dread I feel when watching the original.

  • April 11, 2011, noon CST


    by IWasInJuniorHighDickhead

    the sense of dread just gets worse when you begin to understand that she's just evil. Though her story is tragic, she's not interested in righting any wrongs from beyond the grave, she's just out to cause pain.<P> They've got their work cut out to make the bedroom scene (the most horrific scare ever put to film, i'd say) top the '89 version.<P> Just thinking about it gives me chills. The trailer seems ominous in all the right ways, but I didn't find the eye bit to be that scary. Apart from a couple of jump scares, this is all about dread. Some of the best scenes are when she's in the background and we haven't quite noticed her yet...

  • April 11, 2011, 12:49 p.m. CST

    more spoilers...

    by carlotta_valdes

    I gotta agree (namethat'soneofthefunniestlinesinDieHard), There's just something about the way that bedroom scene is handled...the vulnerability of Kidd, how long what happens goes on, like a nightmare you can't wake up from. It taps into a universal bedtime fear of things that you can't understand or control...and viewing it in the right setting just 'marks you' in a way that's hard to describe. Also love the intensity of the confrontation outside in the back of the house. Just his looking at her seems to anger her more!

  • April 11, 2011, 5:07 p.m. CST

    re Woman in Black

    by DocPazuzu

    Yes, the TV version is terrifying and THAT scene is a true pants filler. What I really enjoy about it is what others have mentioned here, namely the dread that pervades the entire film. The first time you see the ghost it's actually in the middle of the day and out in the open and it's still chilling. The only other movie I can think of that can wring sheer terror from showing ghosts in the middle of the day and at a distance is The Innocents. You don't see that kind of confidence in filmmakers any more. It's all jump cuts and ambush sound. Let's hope the new film is a return to form.

  • April 11, 2011, 5:23 p.m. CST


    by IWasInJuniorHighDickhead

    (or dead woman in a painting!)it is hard to look at her face for too long in that scene.

  • April 12, 2011, 2:45 p.m. CST

    Yeah Docpazuzu...

    by carlotta_valdes

    ...'The Innocents' is a great comparison. Also direct descendant 'The Others' along with the original 'The Haunting'...which has less emphasis on the visual scares and more on atmospheric frights. That window scene in The Innocents still shakes me up when I see it!

  • April 13, 2011, 11:48 p.m. CST


    by Smack_Teddy

    Me and and old friend were both completely shat up at THAT moment

  • April 13, 2011, 11:50 p.m. CST

    I will never forget that moment ever...

    by Smack_Teddy

    (trolling but) lots of love Crossley!

  • has matched it in shitting me up that badly. Since revisiting Woman in Black, its not so bad anymore... but every time i think of that moment in Shutter Island, it often makes me freeze on my own at night, I'm convinced I've stared into the eyes/soul of pure evil, and might not ever come back... feel free to find that hilarious, but i tells ya...