Monday, 21 September 2020
The Woman in Black
Written by Sandra Fitzpatrick   
Sunday, 12 February 2012 14:23

The Woman in BlackDoes it make me a complete and total weirdo that the thing I find most exciting about The Woman in Black is that it was released by Hammer films? The very same production house responsible for shaping the face of horror films throughout the 1930's, 40's and 50's (including Dracula starring Christopher Lee) is still alive and kicking to this day! Yeah, I know - total geek moment. I will move on to the film.


The Woman in Black, based on a book and a play of the same name, is pure gothic horror for those of us who prefer a chilling ghost story over the trendy "torture porn" horror films (Hostel, Saw etc.) that have been so popular over the past decade. Give me a "dark and stormy night" over a "mangled and stumpy limb" any day!

Radcliffe or Heathcliff?Daniel Radcliffe stars in his first major film role since his Harry Potter days, as Arthur Kipps; a young lawyer whose wife has died in childbirth and left him to care for their son. Obviously life is not going so well for Mr. Kipps. His big break at the law firm comes in the form of a week long trip to settle the estate of Alice Drablow, whose home Eel Marsh needs to be cleared out and sold off. After many long and wary looks from the locals, and having practically been thrown out of the inn, Kipps sets his jaw and makes his way to Eel Marsh to begin work. But strange things begin happening at the dark old house, including the appearance of a mysterious woman dressed all in black who always foreshadows some tragic occurence happens in the village. Kipps begins to realize that the villagers are frightened for a reason and means to find out more about this apparition and why she is exacting her revenge on the children of the town.

No! Not her!There is a very classic look and feel to the movie which takes place in the dreary Edwardian English countryside, and the thrills and chills come from build-up of tension that mounts throughout. The cinematography provides many dark corners where you imagine you may see some shadow or motion that is out of place. I think the creepiest things in the movie are the mechanical wind-up toys whose eyes seem to be watching Arthur from every room of the house.

I enjoyed this ghostly thriller, and thought Radcliffe put in a decent performance for the material given. My only problem with the film took place in the last 60 seconds or so - I won't give it away, but the ending was kind of a let down.


Directed by James Watkins (Eden Lake), and Starring Daniel Radcliffe.

The Woman in Black is based on a 1983 novel by Susan Hill.

The toys used in the film were genuine antiques on loan from a collector. In my opinion that makes them even creepier!