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The Woman in Black (2012)

Daniel Radcliffe , Ciarán Hinds , James Watkins  |  PG-13 |  DVD
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,189 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Daniel Radcliffe, Ciarán Hinds
  • Directors: James Watkins
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: CBS Films
  • DVD Release Date: May 22, 2012
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,189 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B005LAIGOQ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,467 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Woman in Black" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Fans of classically structured haunted house/ghost stories will relish the skillfully unnerving chain of events in The Woman in Black, whether or not they're fans of Harry Potter. The good new is that Daniel Radcliffe leaves Harry behind for good in his first post-Potter role. Radcliffe plays Arthur Kipps, a young solicitor tasked with resolving the affairs of a recently deceased woman and her brooding estate in the gloom of the remote Victorian England-era village of Crythin Gifford. The mood is melancholic all around, starting with Kipps himself, who lost his wife to childbirth a few years earlier. His employer has had just about enough of his moping about and gives him the assignment as a last resort to save his job. When he arrives in the small village, the icy response he receives does not bode well for successful completion of his mission. All the townspeople want him gone, and possibly for good reason. Many of their children have died mysteriously gruesome deaths that they blame on the titular black-clad woman whose own child was tragically sucked to his death in the muck surrounding her seaside mansion. This new stranger who wants to unearth the deadly secrets trapped in the decrepit old house is a threat they cannot abide, and sure enough the deaths keep on coming as he delves deeper into the dark recesses of the house and the history of its ghostly occupant. There are scares aplenty in The Woman in Black, and they come from a genuineness that relies on creep-outs rather than gross-outs. Faces in windows, apparitions barely there, slow-building moodiness that suddenly erupts into a silent scream (or sometimes not so silent) make for an extremely effective and often terribly unnerving atmosphere of dread. The movie comes with several impressive pedigrees as well. It's based on a popular novel published in the early '80s, which was also adapted into a long-running hit play. The movie additionally resurrects the Hammer Films brand, an esteemed British production company that churned out moody and distinctive horror films and exploitive psycho-thrillers for decades in the mid 20th century. Indeed, the presence of Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee seems to lurk around every dusty, cobwebbed corner in The Woman in Black, right behind the slamming doors and only just glimpsed in the flickering candlelight. Radcliffe is perfect for the role of a heartbroken man whose rationality is stretched to the point of no return by the things he may or may not be seeing. Several strong supporting performances add to the gravitas, especially Ciarán Hinds as a kindred soul and father figure to Kipps, and perhaps the only other rational man in Crythin Gifford. But then rationality has almost nothing to do with the disquieting spirit of this authentically enigmatic, finely understated and efficiently chilling return to classic horror. --Ted Fry

Product Description

Arthur Kipps (Daniel Radcliffe), 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 his arrival, it soon becomes clear that everyone in the town is keeping a deadly secret. Although the townspeople try to keep Kipps from learning their tragic history, he soon discovers that the house belonging to his client is haunted by the ghost of a woman who is determined to find someone and something she lost… and no one, not even the children, are safe from her vengeance.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
134 of 137 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Period Ghost Story Gets It Right May 17, 2012
Format:Blu-ray
There are two kinds of horror films. The first depends for its scares on graphic gore, unrestrained violence, and blood -- lots of it. The second relies more on mood and an escalating sense of terror than gruesome images to get under the skin. "The Woman in Black" falls into the second category. It's a film rich in atmosphere that takes its time getting underway but, once it kicks in, never lets go.

In pre-World War I England, Arthur Kipps (Daniel Radcliffe), a young London lawyer with a small son, is grieving over his dead wife. His employer is fed up with Arthur's dour attitude and sends him to Yorkshire to handle the sale of an estate. Arthur is warned that this will be his last chance to distinguish himself for the firm.

Arriving after a long journey, Arthur is met and befriended by a local squire, Daily (Ciaran Hinds), though the other townsfolk are not thrilled with the visit of an outsider. Arthur is brought to the house of the deceased, which lies quite a distance from town. It is the textbook example of the House of Gloom -- grey, run down, surrounded by overgrown shrubbery, broken gates marking its entrance -- a place that immediately foreshadows bad things to come.

For much of the movie, Arthur is alone in the house -- or is he? Many of the trappings of a traditional ghost story are here -- the rainstorm, shadowy corridors, a dog barking at something not seen, an endless number of rooms, each with creepy and unsettling contents. And then there are the sightings: a darkly attired female figure, a face at a window, a fresh handprint on a window, a corpse rising from a muddy grave. Whether these are real or only figments of Arthur's imagination is left to speculation -- at least for a while.
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125 of 137 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Forget Harry Potter February 6, 2012
Format:DVD
Forget Harry Potter when you watch The Woman in Black. One thing has nothing to do with the other. Daniel Radcliffe is struggling not to be typecast, to establish himself as an adult actor, not an easy accomplishment for any child star. Radcliffe does a creditable job in this movie. A classic, gothic horror story, it contains scary elements without resorting to the gory, shlocky slasher stuff of recent decades. As Arthur Kipps, the young lawyer devastated by his wife's childbed death, he has little to do other than to act wary and frightened, and appear foolhardy enough to go where no sane person ever would. This film has many strengths, among them the perfect dark, eerie sets, the cinematography that lends a sense of black and white to what is actually a color production, and enough of a mystery to make the viewer wonder what's going on in the forbidding town to which Arthur is sent to work. Along with him, we figure out, step by step, exactly what motivates the black veiled apparition, and along with him, we trust that he'll be able to put her to rest.

But there are weaknesses as well. It becomes a bit tiresome to follow Arthur through the dismal corridors of the haunted mansion, armed as he is with only a candle and an axe. Too much reliance is placed upon the sudden shocking revelation, which the audience learns to anticipate. The most effective scene takes place outside the estate, at a family crypt where Arthur encounters the distraught mother of a dead child. Most of the supporting actors have little to do other than to look forbidding and threatening, but Ciaran Hinds and Janet McTeer are superb in there roles as the grieving couple who, alone amongst their neighbors, offer some support to Arthur. The ending is a true shocker.

As is typical, the screenplay is substantially different from the novel upon which it is based, so watch the movie as a separate entity. It's worth a look. I needed a drink to settle down afterwards!
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64 of 72 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Chasing shadows March 26, 2012
Format:DVD
I love gothic horror -- big cobwebbed houses, squawking ravens, rolling mists and mysterious sinister figures that are only glimpsed. "The Woman in Black" has all of those. In fact, this slow, haunting movie loads on the Edwardian ghost-story atmosphere so thick that it practically chokes you -- and while it tends to move slowly, it's beautifully creepy.

Young lawyer Arthur Kipps (Daniel Radcliffe) has a life in tatters -- his career is in jeopardy, and he's still in mourning over the loss of his wife four years ago. He's sent to sort through the personal effects of Alice Drablow, who left behind a decayed mansion set in the misty marshes -- and when visiting the house, he sees a veiled woman in black.

The locals are also desperate to get rid of him, even blaming him for the death of a child who drank lye. And soon Kipps begins to understand why, as he unravels the secrets of the Drablow family, and the madwoman who lost her child long ago. With the help of his new friend Sam Daily (Ciarán Hinds), Kipps will set out to stop the Woman in Black before she claims what's dearest to him.

I haven't been too impressed with the output of the revitalized Hammer Films company. "The Woman in Black" is probably the best horror movie they've produced -- it feels like a modern version of their shadowy, gothic old movies. It's also not very scary, although director James Watkins tosses in a few jump scares (a raven, a faucet, etc).

Instead, the movie just makes you uneasy. We're constantly aware that SOMETHING is hovering over this town. But for most of the movie, we only see fleeting glimpses of the Woman and her power.

The biggest problem is that the movie moves rather slowly, especially in the first half.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark and atmospheric
I wanted to see what Daniel Radcliffe was up to nowadays, so I watched this. It was a neat little period drama with a dark, brooding atmosphere. Read more
Published 5 hours ago by cheryl rivera
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I love it
Published 1 day ago by Kathy
5.0 out of 5 stars Scarrrrry!
A great movie. Very well done. Not for the faint-hearted.
Published 1 day ago by dressmaker
4.0 out of 5 stars better than I expected
one of those thrillers that has you on the end of your chair
great action
movie well written and easy to follow
great acting
Daniel Radcliffe was excellent... Read more
Published 2 days ago by Ruth Freed
4.0 out of 5 stars Seems to be a very good movie not real HAPPY with how dark a lot ...
Seems to be a very good movie not real HAPPY with how dark a lot of the scenes are but I guess that adds to the mystery !
Published 3 days ago by Ford man
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a bad movie, but way too slow for me
Not a bad movie, but way too slow for me. The ending definitely had a twist to it. It's worth a watch.
Published 3 days ago by Sherri
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Kept you wondering about outcome.
Published 3 days ago by Judy Livingston
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but fails to live up to the original
Based on the Susan Hill book of the same name, this is actually the second version put to film. The first is the BBC production from 1980, which alas is only available on R2 dvd... Read more
Published 3 days ago by E. Stockwell
5.0 out of 5 stars Mr. Daniel Jacob Radcliffe has grown from Harry Potter
The Women in Black is one of those movies when you have seen the commercials you must go see the movie. I think Daniel Jacob Radcliffe a.k. Read more
Published 3 days ago by Nylah Lee
4.0 out of 5 stars Scary. The lighting and cinematography made it effectively scary ...
Scary. The lighting and cinematography made it effectively scary.
Published 3 days ago by Ana A.
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