Film Review: Blackwood


Blackwood is a by the numbers supernatural mystery. There are some scenes with good tension but they are let down by the direction that film takes.

Recovering from a breakdown, history professor Ben Marshall has a new lecturing job lined up and relocates to a house in the country with his wife and young son. Ben starts to feel that there is something wrong with the old house…

The premise of Adam Wimpenny’s Blackwood works well enough. Given that Michael is on medication, this adds a layer of doubt over the episodes which he experiences. The film is suitably engaging in the first half, with the script throwing enough in to keep viewers watching.

Blackwood does have a foreboding atmosphere thanks in part to its dominate setting. The house very much looks like something directly out of a horror movie. However, it is questionable how Ben would get a mortgage on such a property on a history professor’s salary.

The film starts to unravel with Ben’s search for evidence; there is one scene in particular which is ludicrous. The twist in film’s finale can be spotted well before they are revealed. Is a bit silly for Wimpenny to spell it out in the climax to the audience by referencing every point that has come before. Some of the special effects are not as authentic as they could be.

Blackwood is a fair feature debut from Adam Wimpenny. It is a shame that the atmosphere generated early on could not have been carried through to the film’s conclusion.

Blackwood is receives its world premiere at the BFI London Film Festival in October 2013.