The Woman in Black – Movie *spoilers inside*

Went and saw The Woman in Black movie tonight.  While the story veers from the book in many places, I found the movie portray the gothic suspense better than the book.  Eel Marsh house as a setting was extremely creepy and foreboding both inside and out.  The film did an excellent job of keeping the suspense going by not overdoing things jumping out at you.

The creepiest part of the film though was the way they portrayed the children dying.  In fact, the horror of what is going on with this town starts right from the opening scene of the Inn’s triplet girls playing in the attic.  Then blank looks take over their faces, they tromp over their china dolls, breaking them, open the windows and jump out of them.  It really sets the tone for the rest of the film.

I did not prefer the end of this film.  I actually thought that the ending of the novel, as well as how the premesis of the novel with the main character telling the story years later), conformed more with the gothic horror theme than the film.    The film showed the woman in black collecting the children’s souls (ghosts) as the aim of taking their lives.  At the end of the film, both Arthur and his son are killed by a train and reunited with his wife (who in the film dies in childbirth), thus not allowing the woman to collect his son’s soul.

I am not one for horror movies, but I am a sucker for a good ghost story, along the lines of the 1944 film The Uninvited, The Lady in White (I remember watching the 1988 film as a youngster), and even Poltergeist.  The Woman in Black is worthy of being put in the same category as The Uninvited.  If you are a fan of gothic movies or good ghost stories, this is a must see!

Review: The Woman in Black

The Woman in Black
The Woman in Black by Susan Hill
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I thought this book was okay for a gothic horror. The first half of the book was very detailed and a bit wordy, which made the story move along slowly. The second half of the book moved much better, but was neither scary or suspenseful. I just kept waiting for more to happen. The ending was given away due to the excessive amount of detail given by the author. Thus I was sitting at the end of the book saying don’t do that, knowing exactly what the outcome would be.

I can see how someone could take this book and make a good movie adaptation from it. In fact, I would expect the movie to tap much more into the gothic horror genre then this book has. The book, sadly just fell flat. No need to worry that this ghost tale will keep you up at night, the book shouldn’t inspire any fear.

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Define addiction, Legacy Book Review

ADDICTION: continued involvement with a substance or activity despite the negative consequences associated with it (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Addiction)

Of course this is what books have always been for me.  Why else would I still be up until 2:30am, engrossed in a book and unable to put it down?  Thankfully, not all books do this to me, but when a story grips me, it’s impossible for my mind to let go and relax without seeing the ending.

Hence Legacy by Jeanette Baker. Along the lines of The Face of the Maiden, this is another ghostly tale (albeit set in the early 1990’s) where the story appears through dreams/visions to the heroine. The book tells the story of 4 women, related by ancestry, a curse, and the Famed Destiny Stone of Scotland. Essentially, it seems like the same set of lovers repeating their tragic lives over and over until they get it right. While I found the first tale to drag on, it was understandable as the focus was also on the present day hero/heroine. The book was very well written and did not give away some of the twists immediately when they appeared (though many will figure them out before they are completely revealed).

In comparison to the previous night’s book, I felt this novel was a better rendition of a way to bring a romantic ghost story to life. I was completely engrossed and couldn’t devour the page fast enough. Of course I created my own atmosphere with a thunderstorm outside and rain/lightning program on my lightning bug.

Even better, this was a book I picked up for free for my kindle. It’s nice to take a no lose chance on a book and get rewarded with a home run!

Never read a ghost story when spending the night in a strange place, The Face of the Maiden book review

As it just keeps you up way to late.  But alas, it was time to finish reading The Face of the Maiden by Emma Wildes.  It is a more classic gothic romance, complete with ghostly attacks, long-lost lovers, and of course, with all romances, a present day (regency era) hero/heroine.

I loved the ghost story and the way the author moved through this story line.  It made me look forward to each new chapter and further development of the ghostly adventure.

As for the hero/heroine, I found their story  less developed and the focus more on the secondary characters.  I didn’t feel this plot (jealous brother and an almost fiancée) added much to the story and seemed like filler.  I instead would have liked to seen the plot stay focused more on the ghostly encounters and the history of the family.  There was much more that could have been done to delve deeper into the more gothic/paranormal elements of the story, especially with a very rational extremely responsible hero and a young impressionable heroine.

All in all I enjoyed the story and it reminded me of why I have always liked reading this genre.