DVD Blackwood

DVD Blackwood
DVD Blackwood

Run time: 90 min
Rating: 6.0
Genres: Thriller
Director: Adam Wimpenny
Writers: J.S. Hill
Stars: Ed Stoppard, Sophia Myles, Russell Tovey
Having recovered from a shattering emotional breakdown, college professor Ben Marshall relocates to the countryside with his wife and young son, hoping for a fresh start. He has a teaching job lined up and a new home to move into; things finally look to be going Ben’s way. Until, that is, he starts to feel that something isn’t quite right in the house. Finding himself plagued by spectral visions, Ben becomes obsessed with uncovering the truth behind a local mystery that appears to be putting the lives of his family in danger. Written by Michael Blyth – London Film Festival 2013
Country: UK
Release Date: 1 August 2014 (UK)


  1. Well, I am a huge fan of the 'things that go bump, spill your popcorn' kinda movie, so was interested from the start to see what these guys were pumping so hard in their reviews. I'm all for that to get your low budget flick a bit of a boost, but no-one likes to feel conned. The story is the usual predictable rip off of 'The Shining', house in country, tick, husband in crisis moves family away against their best wishes, tick, husband starts to lose the plot (not the only one), tick, we all see dead people, tick, lots of dark rooms, wide angles and flickering, etc, etc . . . Which is all cool, except the character development is almost non-existent, his poor wife is left as a totally 2 dimensional character, and the husband struggles to convince with such poor dialogue to work with. In conclusion, without giving anything away (you'll see it all coming a ways off), it's nothing that hasn't been done a hundred times before, and with far more flair. Rather than copying everything that's gone before, try making something original. Poor.

  2. I was surprised by some of the other reviews for this film, 10 out of 10? I was expecting a classic which had been gathering dust unloved, suddenly discovered and released to an adoring public, prompting review hysteria! I thought, wow! 'Bladerunner' IMDb rated 8.3, 'Citizen Kane' 8.5, 'Unforgiven' 8.3, this must be quite an undiscovered gem. It isn't.

    Now, I don't claim to know much about the creative process of writing an original screenplay, but I'm pretty sure that the word 'original' is just about as important as 'screenplay'. This crazy-pa-moves-family-to spooky-house has been done, well lets say with no pun intended, to death.

    I cannot understand why, essentially having really original takes on this theme, I'm looking at you, 'The Shining' and 'The Others', which took the idea in completely different and original directions, we need something like this which lacks any originality. The characters are written in 2 dimensions to such an extent that long before the end you simply couldn't care less what happens to them. But it doesn't stop the clichés coming thick and fast. Not only is this not a '10 out of 10' lost classic, it is derivative and lazy. It desperately needed rewrites from someone with something original to add to the genre. I felt conned.

  3. Saw this at a festival last year and wasn't sure it was going to get distribution, but, against what appeared to be the general feeling it looks like it has a distributor for August, so have decided to post my notes.

    The premise is the usual one for scary, strange-bump-in-the-night movies, emotionally challenged husband moves innocent family out of the big city and in to harms way. This is fine, after all, we all need to get our characters out of their comfort zones and into some kind of jeopardy, otherwise, 'Lassie' for example, would never have been made.

    I totally love these type of films, but what follows is unfortunately something of a mash up of all the things you've seen before that have to appear in a make-'em-jump movie. Now, of course, we could try to to convince ourselves (a la Ben Affleck's speech to Col Dolittle in 'Pearl Harbour), that copying others is not bad, its an 'homage'. But then that would force you to accept the US remake of 'The Vanishing' was an 'homage' to George Sluizer's truly taut original. So we see 'Blackwood' is a fairly lame regurgitation of all the familiar tropes, there is a twist at the end, but if you don't spot it a mile you should pop out and show yourself a good time more often, either that or you've dozed off at some point. So all in all, not so unlike Lassie, a little bit more than just a dog.

  4. I don't know if the word chiller is strictly a genre but Blackwood perfectly fits the description. A moody thriller with ghost story leanings, mysterious locals, a missing woman and child and a haunted house that could have been plucked straight out of a Gothic romance it serves to get under the skin rather than try to turn your stomach. Directed with flare, rich cinematography and and a very haunting score it was one of the best low budget British films I've seen for some time. Sometimes the characters are difficult to root for as they are such a complex bunch riled with hidden secrets, but equally it's interesting to see a film that challenges your allegiance as to who to sympathise with. Wouldn't have hurt been a little longer to tie up some of the complex back stories but If you like well written character based horror and a good old fashioned fright then give it a look in.

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