Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Film Review: The Woman In Black (2012)

The Woman In Black (Review)
United Kingdom/Canada/Sweden/2012
Format Viewed For Review: Blu-ray
Netflix Instant: No
Amazon Prime: No
*A 31 Days of Halloween Special Review!

"...very atmospheric as it drowns you in a spooky ambiance."

Widowed lawyer Arthur Kipps (Daniel Radcliffe) is sent to Crythin Gifford to prepare the sale of the Eel Marsh House, a remote home harboring local superstition...

The Woman in Black follows gloomy lawyer Arthur Kipps as he arrives at Crythin Gifford to little hospitality. In fact, his legal contact immediately whisks him away. Persistent, Arthur decides to visit the Eel Marsh House despite warnings from the townsfolk. At the home, he hears peculiar noises, then sees an ominous woman in black, followed by the sound of an accident and a child's cries. Soon thereafter, children in the village begin dying brutal deaths. Arthur begins to piece together the puzzle at the Eel Marsh House and tries to expel the curse of the woman in black. The film leads to a surprisingly somber and effective ending.

 The Woman In Black is a great horror film. The story doesn't delve into anything unconventional as it sticks to some fairly traditional roots. This isn't particularly bad, but it does leave you yearning for a bit more. I did like the film's folklore vibe, though. In fact, I loved the overall feeling of the film. It's very atmospheric as it drowns you in a spooky ambiance. The horror consists of plenty of jolting jump-scares, some eerie imagery, and some decent suspense. It's moderately effective. However, some of the jump-scares felt very undeserved – you know, the ones without any suspense or buildup, they just leap out from nowhere. The story also has a few dull moments consequently making this short film feel a little dragged out – it's only 90 minutes after all.

The acting was fine. Daniel Radcliffe does well as the despondent lawyer. He delivers a controlled yet effective performance. The supporting cast is also strong. The film looks and sounds great. The cinematography, locale, and costume design bolster the film's eerie atmosphere. The music also blends well with the film's style. The screenplay by Jane Goldman was more than serviceable. Director James Watkins crafts a slow-but-effective horror ride with an immersive atmosphere. The film is oozing with style. The director crafts his scenes well.

Overall, The Woman In Black is a very good horror movie. The plot has a few shortcomings and leaves a little to be desired, but its classical roots strongly support the film. The settings and the atmosphere help create a unique experience in a film genre dominated by the same haunted house. If you're looking for something moderately suspenseful and you enjoy jump-scares, you'll enjoy The Woman In Black.

Score: 7/10
Parental Guide: Some violence and blood, some disturbing images including the death of children.

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