During the 1960s and ’70s Hammer Film Productions was one of the premier producers of British horror movies, making the careers of actors such as Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing. The company has been relatively quiet over the past few decades, but has come back with a vengeance with the 2012 film “The Woman in Black.” Starring Daniel Radcliffe of “Harry Potter” fame, the movie has quickly become the fastest grossing British horror movie ever.
In its first three weeks of release in the UK, the film has locked the top spot in the box office and has earned £14.6 million ($23.2 million U.S.). The movie has also been successful in the U.S., grossing $50 million in its first 25 days of release. Reviews of the movie have not all been positive, and several critics have slammed Radcliffe’s performance. That has not, however, dampened public enthusiasm for the movie.
The movie sees Radcliffe’s character, a widowed lawyer, traveling to a small village that is terrorized by an evil spirit. When he moves into a manor house that he has to prepare for sale, he finds himself and his infant son trapped and at the mercy of the angry spirit of a woman whose children had been killed.
Hammer’s CEO, Simon Oakes, has hailed the movie’s massive success as a sign of the rebirth of Hammer horror movies. The film’s impressive box office figures put it well ahead of other British films of the past few years such as “The Others,” “Shaun of the Dead” and “Bram Stoker’s Dracula“.