The Woman in Black [Blu-ray]
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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.Read more ›
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!
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It starts slowly and is a little difficult to understand the who the players are because they talk very low. Once it gets going, though, it is kind of interesting. Read morePublished 6 hours ago by M. S. Meyers
This movie wrapped itself up, but had more jump scares than anything else. You never find out what happens to the dog or why the ghost children are so hateful.Published 8 hours ago by OutsideHalftheDay
Very suspenseful. Ending was a real surprise, didn't see it coming.Published 1 day ago by Linda G. Vielmo
Good story. Great performances. Plenty of suspense. All the features of an outstanding horror.Published 1 day ago by Fred Currier
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