The Woman in Black (2012)

The Woman in Black

Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Ciaran Hinds, Janet McTeer, Liz White

Plot: Arthur Kipps a widowed lawyer whose grief has put his career in jeopardy, is sent to a remote village to sort out the affairs of a recently deceased eccentric. But upon arrival, it soon becomes clear that everyone in the town is keeping a deadly secret.

My Review and Thoughts:

This is an interesting classic type Hammer Horror film. A creepy little ghost tale set in the Edwardian era. This is a rustic dark slow burn tale of spooks and scares of the classic style. This isn't done in a modern style of horror with high energy or overdone gore or torture porn. This is a style of horror film that in honesty I miss greatly. Those old scary houses and spooky sounds and scary jump moments of fast actions. Those old school spine tingling tales of the old days of horror film. This plays out like those classic Hammer films of the past.

This stars Mr. Harry Potter a.k.a Daniel Radcliffe and that is clearly the main commercial success of this film. This made more money than any other Hammer film in history. This was the highest grossing British horror film in the last 20 years. I feel the movie works. It’s a perfect example of old school haunted house horror. It has wonderful jump moments and creepy scenes of sounds mixed with horror inducing ghosts and darkness.

I feel this is a great spook flick that plays with the style of 1963 The Haunting, 1959 The House on Haunted Hill, 1961 The Innocents. It gives a great example of a ghost tale. Perfect way to watch this film is with all the lights out and the volume up. A couple spots spooked me out, the muddy child, the flash screams, it’s a mixed bag of classic frights. The downside is that a lot of modern horror fans won't get the classic style of Gothic horror.

So much of this generation are stuck on torture and gore and they don't realize the definition of horror:

"An overwhelming and painful feeling caused by something frightfully shocking, terrifying, or revolting; a shuddering fear"

The Woman in Black is not a perfect movie, it has its flaws, slow pace at times, a weak explanation at times, and the film leaves a lot of unanswered questions. The negative is small and I overlooked it because I was entertained and freaked out in spots.

Radcliffe is a great actor, he owned the part of Arthur. He gave the character an emotional appeal that the viewer could feel and understand. The cinematography is haunting and amazing, the atmosphere felt old, rustic and dirty and dreadful. The story is based on Susan Hills book with the same name that was released in 1983.

This is directed by James Watkins who directed one of the underrated forgotten brutal films Eden Lake which happens to be one of my favorite movies in the last ten years. Watkins has a talent in grabbing the viewer and making them watch what is happening. The Woman in Black works with all its scary Goosebumps inducing, hair rising spooks that great ghost story's do.

In a sense this could be called a re-make for there is another Woman in Black based on the same book by Susan Hill. The Woman in Black the original movie which came out in 1989 was a television film and starred Adrian Rawlins as Arthur and Pauline Moran as the Woman in Black. Both films change many ideas and situations from the book.

So the low down is I enjoyed it for what it was a classic old school creepy haunted house ghost story with the flare of some originality to complete the film.