The Woman In Black – in cinemas now
Regardless of what follows in this review it should be noted from the word go, this should not be a 12A. I can only assume that the current batch of certificators… is that a word? REALLY hate kids. Whilst I have no qualms that children are on the whole annoying, subjecting them to the frights of The Woman In Black seems harsh for even the most ardent ASBO sprog.
Back to the film however and as a grown up (of sorts) how scary actually is The Woman In Black… well this will probably depend on how many horror films you have watched in your life. For me, horror was a staple part of my movie diet as I grew up so the ‘bangs and crashes’ approach adopted for much of the film is a little wasted on me. The film is shot beautifully and the house itself is the picture of quiet malevolence meaning that many of the chills come from the look of the movie rather than any actual frightening event.
The casting is solid, although it does not seem possible that Harry Potter is old enough to have a child, I guess it wasn’t just quidditch he was up to at Hogwarts afterall. I have many more ‘magic wand’ jokes but I’ll leave it there. In fairness Daniel Radcliffe is pretty good, he does a great line in ‘pensive’ looks but his insistence on going TOWARDS the mysterious noises rather than running away screaming like a little girl is often perplexing, but this is a very classic kind of horror and that is just what happens in a good old fashioned ghost yarn.
The story itself is a well told one, based on the 1983 novel, a tale which has already spawned a theatre production that has been running for two decades, although this movie adaption plays with the details and apart from the slightly too ‘nice’ ending, it doesn’t suffer from the meddling.
There are some fantastic set pieces, none of which I will ruin for you here and there are times where the ‘woman’ is suitably sinister, not dissimilar to that of a J-Horror baddies lurking in ‘The Grudge’ or ‘The Ring’
It is great to have the Hammer studios back and The Woman In Black is a fitting picture to herald their return, vintage chills in a very English manner. Just leave the kids at home.
Jules says…. 3.5/5