Teetering towards the psychological thriller end of the horror genre, Daniel Radcliffe’s first post-Harry Potter project uses old-style atmosphere to scare the audience.
Based on the novel by Susan Hill, the film centers on lawyer and widower Arthur Kipps (Radcliffe) who takes a job in a remote English village where he is to
sort out a deceased woman’s estate. However, Kipps is ignored and rebuffed by the villagers who try to send him back to London. It doesn’t take long for Kipps to realize that the villagers are hiding secrets, most of these regarding the children’s deaths in the town and the Eel Marsh House.
The movie embraces the elements of gothic horror full-heartedly. Grey, dreary English skies, along with shadows and low light, are staples of the film, unsettling both Kipps and the audience.
The movie, however, relies greatly on predictable jump scares, which while effective at the time feel cheap after the adrenaline rush wears off. It also quickly becomes apparent that can rattle or creak or move will and anytime the music goes quiet something is going to pop out of the shadows. However, when in the Marsh House, these jumps begin to feel repetitive.
For some, the main draw for film may be Radcliffe, who delivers a mature, grown-up performance that helps distance him away from the Potter franchise.
The biggest selling point of The Woman in Black is it allows the audience to figure out the plot along with the characters. There is no conversation between characters that lays out the entire dilemma and the movie’s mystery becomes something worth relishing. B-
Director: James Watkins
Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Ciarán Hinds, Janet McTeer
Running Time: 95 minutes
Popularity: 3% [?]