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Spooky ghost stories read by Christopher Lee  

It's Halloween - an odd time of year that sees people dressing up in shabby clothes, drinking, and asking other people for food. But while people play hobo for the night, I treat the macabre occasion the same way I treat the rest of life: as an excuse to watch more films.

But everyone already knows that The Exorcist and The Shining are probably the two scariest films ever made, so who needs to read yet another list of the "top horror films of all time"? Instead, I like to play Scream: The Video Game or something equally gruesome.

But if point-and-click MS-DOS games based on Wes Craven films aren't your thing, here's something a little more old-school: some actors doing what they do best when they're out of work in the winter season: reading terrifying ghost stories.

Inevitably, most of these are by Edgar Allan Poe, but there's a special treat in there for vampire fans: Dracula read by Michael Fassbender.

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The Woman in Black 2 - sequel titles

Hammer announced yesterday that The Woman in Black will have a sequel. The film, which will see the British horror institution re-team with author Susan Hill, is going to be based on an original story, which she's been developing for the past few years.

In time-honoured tradition, The Woman in Black's follow-up will see us catch up with the titular spook, seeing what she's up to 40 years later when she's haunting a new couple who come across Eel Marsh House. Think of it as the Star Trek: The Next Generation. With ghosts.

It's no surprise that James Watkins' utterly terrifying movie has inspired a second outing. It's the highest grossing British horror of the past 20 years, taking over $33 million in the UK - that 12A BBFC rating really paid off. As well as Hill's involvement, it's promising to hear that Jon Crocker (the story editor on the original film) is scribbling the screenplay. 

The only sad news? The title. The sequel will be called The Woman in Black: Angels of Death.

I really had my heart set on The Woman in Black 2: Cruise Control. Or 2 Woman 2 Black. Or, in a perfect world, The Woman in Black and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

"If only there were some crappily-Photoshopped posters and synopses to go with these alternate Woman in Black sequel ideas", I hear at least one person (OK, me) cry. Well, here you go...

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The Woman in Black review
Director: James Watkins
Cast: Daniel Radcliffe, Ciaran Hinds
Certificate: 15
James Watkins interview

"What did you think of that?" someone asked me on the way out of The Woman in Black. "The worst play I've ever seen," I replied. I lied. It terrified the crap out of me. I was 11 years old.

Fast forward to 2011 and not much has changed. James Watkins opens his smart horror with three girls playing in an attic. Suddenly, they all stop, trample over their toy teacups and climb up to the window. A shadowy figure looks on from the corner. Things get creepier from there.

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I woke up this morning and realised something terrible: IT'S THE END OF THE WORLD ON FRIDAY.

If by end of the world, you mean the end of the Harry Potter film franchise. And if by Friday, you mean Friday.

Yes, the sensationally brilliant Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (review here) is out on DVD in the next 48 hours and (here's the sad part) I'll never have the chance to write about a new Harry Potter film ever again. That means no more of this...



... or any of the other Harry Potter songs I made a few months back.

Good news, some might say, but this is a terribly emotional time for me. I even started to do a little cry when I received an email containing a new clip titled "Harry's Return to Hogwarts".

Oh well, at least I can comfort myself with a shiny copy of Daniel Radcliffe on Blu-ray/Triple Play/DVD/Digital Download this weekend. Until then, read on to see Harry return to Hogwarts - FOR THE LAST TIME.

I'm off to shed a few man tears in my bedroom.

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Daniel Radcliffe - The Woman in Black full UK trailer

The full Woman in Black UK trailer is here - and it'll turn you pants an uncomfortable shade of brown.  

With each new trailer, James Watkins' adaptation of Susan Hill's novel just looks better and better. And given how aware he is of the need for an emotional core to the story, there's a good chance that this Hammer Horror movie could be a proper old-school terror fest.

This new UK trailer tells us something of The Woman in Black's plot, as well as giving Ciaran Hinds the chance to dish out some exposition to Daniel Radcliffe's young lawyer. The cast look solid, the visuals look atmospheric and the house looks horrifying. 

Read on for the full UK Woman in Black trailer (or head this way for our James Watkins interview) - but make sure you've got a change of clean undies to hand. 

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During afternoon tea there is a shift in the air, A bone trembling chill that tells you she’s there. There are those who believe that the whole town is cursed, That the house in the marsh is by far the worst. What she wants is unknown but she always comes back, The spectre of darkness, The Woman in Black.


It's OK. You can stop hiding behind your mouse mat now. The scary rhymes have gone away. But in their place is the new trailer for The Woman in Black, and it's chilling stuff.

After The Woman in Black teaser trailer, the new video shows us more of Eel Marsh House and its spooky innards. There are children, dolls, shadows, Daniel Radcliffe... Jane Goldman's script has pretty much got it covered.

There's still not that much in the trailer in the way of plot, but for those not familiar with Susan Hill's novella or the frankly terrifying stage adaptation, lawyer Arthur Kipps (Radcliffe) is sent to a remote village to sort out the affairs of the newly dead owner of Eel Marsh House. Cue a tragic backstory, an evil ghost and a brief appearance by Ciaran Hinds.

The Woman in Black is directed by Eden Lake's James Watkins and released in UK cinemas on Friday 10th February 2012. Read on for the full video, or head this way for our James Watkins interview. Then you can get back to hiding behind that mouse mat.

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When I was 11, I was taken to see The Woman in Black at the theatre. By my parents, obviously, I wasn't kidnapped by some stranger in the street intent on traumatising a defenceless child.

It's safe to say that the play terrified the flipping life out of me - I've never had the courage since to go and read Susan Hill's original novel.

So it was great to hear that the upcoming Hammer Horror movie adaptation would be appearing at Empire's BigScreen over the weekend. After reliving my childhood trauma by reminding myself of the trailer, I managed to wander into the press conference for the film and interview James Watkins (director of Eden Lake and writer of My Little Eye) about making The Woman in Black.

Here's what James Watkins had to say to us about making a period horror, living up to the play and helping Daniel Radcliffe to grow up.

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Director: David Yates
Cast: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Ralph Fiennes, Helena Bonham Carter, Maggie Smith, Alan Rickman
Certificate: 12A
Trailers / Potter Special

This is how you end a franchise. Not by writing "It All Ends" in large letters on the poster, but by killing off several cast members before the final reel. If you ever needed proof that Harry Potter has grown up since the sugar-coated fluff of Philosopher’s Stone, the dark carnage of Deathly Hallows Part 2 is it. You couldn’t fit in any more death if you turned all the wizards into Lemmings and set them to nuke. In short, it’s bloody brilliant.

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2011 UPDATE: The Deathly Hallows Part 1 live blog is at the bottom.


Poor lonely boy with no friends lives in cupboard under the stairs. Decides to watch all Harry Potter films in a row. And live blog them as he goes.

902 minutes. 6 films. 1 cathode ray television. Accio life.

It's only a matter of hours before I see the first part of the last part of the Harry Potter series and - in case you haven't realised - I'm rather excited about Deathly Hallows. So here's what happened inside my head while I attempted the ultimate Harry Potter marathon before wetting myself on the way to the cinema (Twitter hashtag: #potterthon).

This is Potterthon. Expecto Patronum some hardcore magic, biatch.

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"Harry Potter. The Boy who Lived... come to die."

It's almost impossible to get sick of hearing that same line over and over in each Harry Potter trailer since 2009. But just in case, this time it's accompanied by Voldemort yelling his face off. A lot.

Yes. the final Deathly Hallows Part 2 trailer is here and - just like the last Harry Potter trailer - it's immense. It has dragons, Alan Rickman, Gary Oldman's moustache, Voldemort shouting sexy things like "NYAAA!" and "OOOARGHHH!! and it looks spectacular.

This is the shortest Harry Potter film yet at 130 minutes. Judging by the amount CGI on show, 90 minutes of that could be a full-on wizarding battle. With fighting Hogwarts statues and everything. Oh, and for those who hate Quidditch, you get to see the stadium burn to the ground too. Yeah. Screw you, Quidditch.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 is out on Friday 15th July. And if you're sad that this is the last trailer (*sob* it's almost the end), then don't worry: there's more Potter video goodness coming your way tomorrow...

Read on for the awesome trailer. 

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