|The Woman in Black starring Danial Radcliffe|
In the 1960-70s British Hammer Horror films enjoyed worldwide success so much so they were their own brand à la Universal horror in the 30s. Unfortunately they could not compete with the new wave of American horror that began with Night of the Living Dead 1968. Hammer ceased production in the 1980s.
In 2007 the company was bought by nouveau riche John de Mol – the man who owns Endemol. His reality television curriculum vitae boasts Big Brother and Jerseylicious.
Now de Mol wants to make horror films.
The new (dutch owned) Hammer has released three films to date: Let Me In 2010, The Resident 2011 and Wake Wood 2011: an ambitious remake, a generic thriller/horror and a low key horror fable respectively. They are all flawed films yet it is not a bad start. In order for Hammer to recreate their brand they must do better. The Woman in Black 2011 will be their litmus test.
The novel was published in 1983 and remains in print. It has been adapted for television and radio. A stage play has been running in London since 1987. The film stars Harry Potter alumni Daniel Radcliffe and is directed by James Watkins (Eden Lake 2008). It has no reason to fail creatively.
The box office will be down to the marketing.
The Woman in Black is on general release 28th October in the UK. US date to be announced.
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