Tag Archives: O willow I die

The Woman in Black 2 and O Willow Waly

 

While participating in the traditional Christmas day “rob your neighbor” gift exchange, from the corner of my eye I happened to see the trailer for The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death on the television, only it was muted. I got really excited to look for it online later. I was also shocked, and for two reasons: It has been almost three years since the original film was released, and I hadn’t heard about this sequel until now!

In one of my very first blog posts from 2012, I wrote a brief review of The Woman In Black. I really loved it. I loved the house (known in the story as the Eel Marsh House) as a character. I loved the time period. I loved that the film’s lack of CGI (computer generated imagery) made it so much spookier!

Though there’s no Daniel Radcliffe this time around, fortunately it appears that the same awesome house plays a main role in the sequel, which is enough to make me excited to see it. According to IMDb, this particular story, which takes place 40 years after the first haunting, involves the Eel Marsh House being converted into a safe shelter for schoolchildren evacuated from World War II London. Many paranormal junkies and investigators should connect to this one, as many real life estates of a similar age end up having the same kinds of multiple lives and purposes, like hospitals, orphanages, etc. This, of course, adds to the creepiness!

But do you want to know what makes me even more excited? In a completely unrelated review, I talked about the very creepy “O Willow Waly” recording from one of my favorite spooky black and white films, The Innocents (1961). I’m not sure if this recording is actually featured in the film, but it is featured in the trailer, which I’ve embedded below. I took this delicious synchronicity as another sign that I’m supposed to get really excited for this movie!

The only thing that I’m bummed about is the fact that they’ve clearly made a creative decision to use more CGI for scares, based on the trailer anyway. A January 2 release date probably doesn’t indicate that it’s a blockbuster either, but I have loved quite a few movies that were never blockbusters.

I’ll be there… and crossing my fingers! Here’s the trailer! Watch it! Now!

 

 


The Innocents…

There has been a lot of experimenting and evidence analysis lately… maybe too much. I needed a break. And so on a dreary, blustery fall day like today (which is my favorite, by the way)… a day that required me to put on the season’s first hoodie… what better time is there to grab a blanket, light a candle, and watch an old black and white psychological horror movie? You may remember that this was the first movie on my list of Movies I Plan On Checking Out This Fall.

I’m not sure this 1961 British film perfectly fits into that psychological horror category. It also lacks the blood and gore of what I consider a “horror” film. I decided not to include the official trailer for the movie in this post, though it is certainly available on YouTube, because its style just doesn’t seem to match the classy movie that I just watched.

 

 

The movie begins with a black screen and a creepy melody, “O Willow Waly”, which is sung in a cappella by a young child. Perfect, right?! I just knew I was going to love it. Much of the film is shot in beautiful outdoor garden-like settings, and the rest of the movie takes place in a beautiful large country estate (filmed on location at the Sheffield Park House in East Sussex, England). It really is beautiful to see on screen. And then, of course later, that same beauty creates the good old-fashioned spookiness that I love in a horror movie. No special effects needed.

 

 

From Wikipedia, here’s a bit about the story…

Miss Giddens (Deborah Kerr) applies for a job as a governess. It is to be her first position, but the wealthy bachelor interviewing her (Michael Redgrave) is unconcerned with her lack of experience. He values his freedom to travel and socialise and unabashedly confesses that he has “no room, mentally or emotionally” for his niece and nephew, who were orphaned and left in his care as infants, and whom he keeps at Bly, his country estate. The previous governess, Miss Jessel, died suddenly less than a year ago. All he cares about is that Miss Giddens accept full responsibility for the children, never troubling him with whatever problems may arise.

 

Miss Giddens eventually discovers that the two children are being possessed by the spirits of the previous governess and the uncle’s former valet.

Because the two children are supposedly possessed by spirits who were in love, this created some weirdness for me. In the movie there is talk of how these two spirits (while alive) would engage in sexual activity in clear view of the children. So now when the children act strangely or say in appropriate things, Miss Giddens begins to wonder just what the children know or what they saw before she took over as governess. At times, the young boy seems to be taken over by the spirit of the valet, and there is even an uncomfortable moment where he kisses his governess passionately. Of course, this weirdness is mild since the movie is over fifty years old… but I just thought I’d give you a heads up.

 

 

Below are two clips. The first clip is a scene that I think captures the style of most of the movie. I think it is beautifully shot. It’s also the video I watched that made me realize I needed to see the film. I quickly ordered it on DVD. The second clip is possibly the creepiest scene from the film.

Enjoy!

 

Unfortunately, the first video no longer exists on YouTube. 

 

 

 

 


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