The Woman in Black Facts: 10 Things You Didn’t Know

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KAYLEIGH MARIE EDWARDS tracks down some fun The Woman in Black facts, about the Susan Hill penned horror 2012 adaptation starring Daniel Radcliffe

The Woman in Black was a big-screen sensation from Hammer Films, starring Daniel Radcliffe. in 2012
The Woman in Black was a big-screen sensation from Hammer Films, starring Daniel Radcliffe. in 2012

In 2012, Daniel Radcliffe left the world of wizardry (but not the world of the supernatural), to play his first movie role since Harry Potter.

The Woman in Black (directed by James Watkins and based on the novel of the same name by Susan Hill) opened in the UK to generally good reviews.

Here are 10 Fun Facts you might not know about this modern day Hammer Horror production:

The Woman in Black Facts

1.) Mark Gatiss was first choice to write The Woman in Black

The screenplay was written by Jane Goldman, which is considered an interesting choice by many horror fans. Goldman has dabbled little in horror and more in action, with films like Kick-Ass and X-Men: First Class under her writing belt.

Originally, Mark Gatiss was asked to write the screenplay, but he declined. He writes for television shows, such as Dr. Who and Sherlock, and is considered an expert by academics in the field of horror. Amongst his horror credentials, Gatiss is known for his documentary series A History of Horror, and other horror-based documentaries like Horror Europa.

Whilst most agree that Goldman did a superb job in translating the gothic atmosphere from Hill’s original work, we can only wonder what direction the script might have taken in the hands of Gatiss.

2.) The Woman in Black has been a stage play for 25 years

Book tickets for The Woman in Black

The Woman in Black has recently celebrated 25 years on London’s West End. It was adapted for theatre long before it was translated to the screen, and regularly tours the UK. Many horror fans argue that the theatre production is scarier and more horrific than the movie adaptation.

3.) The Woman in Black shares a creepy link with Saw

The sound of the doll laughing is actually the same, exact sound made by Bill the Puppet from the Saw franchise.

4.) Arthur Kipps should have been wearing a hat!

Like all movies, this one has its share of technical and factual mistakes. One such mistake would be considered quite the fashion faux pas in the Edwardian era – Arthur Kipps (Radcliffe) is never seen wearing, or so much as holding, a hat. Back in those days, men always wore a hat outdoors. To be seen without one would have been considered most improper!

5.) The Woman in Black was most success horror film in UK

At its time of release, The Woman in Black became the most successful British horror movie at the UK box office and earned over £14 million in its first three weeks. This is no easy victory when you consider that in order to top the British horror chart, it had to beat movies like Edgar Wright’s Shaun of the Dead and Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later.

6.) Harry played same character as Harry’s Dad

The 2012 version is, in fact, the second screen adaptation of the book, and apparently, it’s all in the family! In the 1989 version, Kipps (named Kidd in this earlier version) is played by Adrian Rawlins, who plays Harry Potter’s father in the Harry Potter franchise. Speaking of family, in the 2012 version, Kipps has a son called Joseph, played by Radcliffe’s real-life godson, Misha Handley.

7.) A Woman in Black is a horror film

When Watkins was directing the movie, he explicitly told the actors that he didn’t want it to feel or come across as a ‘period piece’ in any way, which is why none of the actors used ‘traditional’ British accents (outside of their own, real accents, of course). Watkins was more concerned that the movie came across as a horror film, instead of as a slice of historical fiction.

8.) One reviewer really, really hated The Woman in Black

Though The Woman in Black was successful and well received, for the most part, by audiences and critics alike, one reviewer – Chris Tookey of the mailonline, did not like it at all. In his review, he criticised Radcliffe’s performance, calling him ‘dull and inexpressive’. He even went as far as to say that ‘the most frightening thing about it [the movie] is how terrible Daniel Radcliffe is as a leading actor’. He also criticized the script, claiming that what Goldman wrote was merely ‘an uninspired compendium of haunted house clichés’. He went on to insult the directing, and even the motivations of The Woman in Black herself. Harsh!

9.) The props were real antiques

A lot of the props in the movie aren’t props at all, but antiques. An antique collector loaned the production several authentic, Edwardian items, including music boxes and many of the toys.

10.) The Real Vampire Connection

I once theorised that every actor on the planet can be traced back to a vampire movie or vampire role. Here’s how the main cast of The Woman in Black are linked to the fanged fiends!

  • Daniel Radcliffe (Arthur Kipps) stars in the Harry Potter movies, several of which also star Gary Oldman, who plays Dracula himself in Francis Ford Coppola’s Dracula.
  • Liz White (The Woman in Black) appears in a Dr. Who episode (The Snowmen). Previous to her appearance on the show, The Doctor was played by David Tennant, who also played Peter Vincent in the 2011 Fright Night remake.
  • Ciaran Hinds (Mr. Daily) was in Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life, with Angelina Jolie, who starred with Brad Pitt in Mr and Mrs Smith. Pitt, of course, played the vampire Louis in Interview with the Vampire.
  • Janet McTeer (Mrs. Daily) …. (deep breath) was in Me Before You with Emilia Clarke, who stars in Game of Thrones, alongside Peter Dinklage. Dinklage played a role in the (very funny) Knights of Badassdom, also starring Ryan Kwanten, who played Jason Stackhouse in the HBO series True Blood.

Watch The Making of The Woman in Black 2012


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