Hammer shows what true horror is

Radcliffe in The Woman in Black

By Mark Hodge (doddleNEWS)

During the 1960s, UK production company Hammer Horror made some of the creepiest horror movies around.

Casual horror aficionados have, over the last few decades, become used to watching ultra violent, ultra gory shock fests- which while horrifying- aren’t actually that scary.

Now, after lying dormant for many years, Hammer has arisen and produced The Woman in Black, a genuinely chilling horror film.

Based on the novel by Susan Hill, it has been adapted for the screen by Jane Goldman (Kick Ass, X Men: First Class) and directed by Eden Lake director James Watkins.

Watkins, a fan of the genre, has grown tired of the gore and violence, and wanted to make a proper British horror film.

He said: “There are a lot of gory, slasher films in recent years, and I think the success of this proves that people still like proper scary films.

“When Jane sent me the script I thought it was an opportunity to make a classy horror film.”

Whilst starring Harry Potter himself Daniel Radcliffe, fans of the boy wizard must be warned that this film is most definitely not for the faint hearted.

Radcliffe also believes that director Watkins is destined for great things.

He said: “James is talked about as a horror film director, but I think he is much more than that.

“He’s got such an eye for detail and story- I actually learned more from him than in any of the Potter films.

“I’ve been trying to warn as many fans as possible that this is a very, very scary film.

“Unlike Potter, this is set in a world where everything is very real, very brutal and very scary. And in this film the kids are definitely not all right.”

Of course, if Radcliffe is doing all he can to distance himself from anything Potter related, then Hammer Horror is a good place to start.

While Hammer films didn’t always receive critical approval, there are some genuine classics in the cannon, specifically those directed by Terrence Fisher.

But, even when it began to lose it’s way in the 70s, it did produce some films such as Twins of Evil and Asylum that did genuinely scare me- something I’m afraid Saw, Hostel or Paranormal Activity have never managed to do.

About Mark Hodge

Mark Hodge is a journalist and copywriter from Glasgow, Scotland. As well as being involved in film festivals in the UK, Mark has also worked as a sports reporter covering soccer matches in his home country. In fact, he even attended the Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, helping to document the cultural impact of the event on the city. He also writes for The Huffington Post covering topics such as film, sports and politics.


  1. Robin Johnston says:

    Loved Hammer House of Horror when I was in my teens. Delighted to see they have produced something new. Like you, if I’m honest, I can’t remember the last time I saw a horror film that was genuinely frightening rather than just gory. Seems to be something of a lost art.

    • Mark Hodge says:

      Hi Robin – have u tried The Orphange? That’s a great horror flick. There are also some Scandinavian horrors that are proper scary. Hopefully this will signal something of resurgence in creepy films.