That women exist primarily to support men on their journey through life is an outdated patriarchal impulse that unfortunately continues to inform the majority of modern filmmaking. It is pandered to particularly luridly in The Voices, where all female characters – whether full-bodied object of desire or severed head in a fridge – are there to support protagonist Jerry (Ryan Reynolds) in his quest for self-acceptance.
Having relaunched in 2010 with the promise of delivering solid horror films for a modern audience, the output from the rebooted Hammer Films has been something of a mixed bag. While its inaugural release, remake Let Me In, was received with great fanfare, subsequent films The Resident and Wake Wood have been less successful. So with its first big release, The Woman in Black, Hammer has much to prove – and has piled on the pressure by choosing to adapt a story that’s not only a bestselling novel but also a long running West End play.