THE WOMAN IN BLACK BLU RAY REVIEW

The classic story, which is not actually that classic nor is it that traditional, has been retold recently with Daniel Radcliffe as the young lawyer. Originally a novel that reinvented (or rehashed) a traditional story. This version was released 6 years after the books original release in 1983. Nigel Kneale adapted it for the television screen. A man know for his science fiction television adaptation such as Quatermass. -This was prime time and quality.

London solicitor Arthur Kidd (Adrian Rawlins) travels to  Crythin Gifford in North East of England. This market town, housed the estate of newly deceased Alice Drablow. She was a reclusive widow. He has to close out her effects and then sell the house.  Kidd meets Sam Toovey, a local land owner, who knows more than he lets on about the woman and her house. Kidd askes but no one seems to speak about Drablow’s home, Eel Marsh House. So Kidd attends the funeral with local solicitor Pepperell. A woman in black stands in the church and by the grave side. All of which leaves a bad taste in Kidd’s mouth…

If you listen to the splendid commentary on the television series, avoiding the conversation on the other works, you will note the power of the work on the restoration of gothic. Gatiss and Newman, both major lexicons of the genre, give as much detail (and humour) to the work as it deserves. Ms Lemon from Poirot plays the ghost is my favourite thing in honesty. They also identify the essential point. That the series has not aged. It is as engaging as before. Because it sticks to the best of the format. I felt it.

The series and the work are like a continuation of the gothic nightmare of Dracula. The troupes are there. Kneale’s script plays with us and as much as intentional, it pivots on the naive notion that fright is about expectation and experience indeed. Layered within that simple construct is an aesthetic of emptiness. You feel abandoned in the space, the realm of history and legacy drip down from the screen. You miss a thing in the corner of your eye, you might not have seen. You might have. This series is clever for it under uses itself and its budget but still maximises the dread. You might give you nightmares, well one scene will no doubt do…it did me…

SPECIAL FEATURES
• Feature version in full widescreen
• Audio commentary with Mark Gatiss and Kim Newman
• Image gallery
• Booklet by Andrew Pixley

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