Wednesday Movie Review: The Woman in Black

The Woman in Black, released Feb. 3, 2012 by Cross Creek Pictures, Hammer Film Productions & Alliance Films.

Personal Rating:
4 out of 5*'s. My opinion on this and films like it is skewed when compared with other people because I look for different things in my films than your usual American 'horror lover'.

Arthur Kipps (Daniel Radcliffe) is a young lawyer who is depressed by the loss of his beautiful wife after giving birth to a son. His son, now grown to a toddler, draws pictures of him with a sad face. He is assigned to prepare a large house for sale on a marsh and travels to an obscure village where he is shunned by most of the townspeople. He visits the Eel Marsh House, the estate of the late Alice Drabow, to look it over, but finds his job has grown more perilous as it is haunted by the ghost of a woman scorned. He learns from the villagers that the ghost of the woman in black seeks revenge against their children because her child was taken away from her. Kipps is befriended by Sam (Ciaran Hinds) and his wife Elizabeth (Janet McTeer). They, too, have lost a son, and they help the lawyer to investigate the background of the estate and what happened.
~written by KristelClaire (via

Personal Opinion:
I prefer spook, chill, atmosphere and sublty over random, serving no purpose than to make you jump out of your seat jolts and gorefests any day. That being said, I probably enjoyed this film more than a lot of the people that went to go see it, expecting to be horrified every time the screen got quiet. Stylistically, I prefer Asian supernatural horror & ghost films over the American stuff any day of the week, most because American movie goers seem to have forgotten that their is a difference between 'horror' and 'gore' and there by aren't happy unless the ghost is ripping people's faces off. I felt that this film followed the formula of the Asian films, and the only films I've seen to do that effectively are the ones based directly off of the Asian films (The Ring, Pulse, Shutter, One Missed Call, The Grudge).

 I don't like films that tell me everything- tell me what this imagery means, why I should be scared. We get to watch a man reluctant to believe in the supernatural being forced to confront an angry and embittered entity. This brings him to terms with what is actually important in his life. There's also a scene that actually gave me a chill, and that's saying something. At no point is there gore, or do you need to shield your eyes, you can watch the screen from the title to the end credits and still have enjoyed it.

I would have given it 5 stars, but there was something that I personally felt should have been hit on, or alluded to, at least. Without trying to give too much of a spoiler to those that might want to watch it, I can say that in the story at the heart of this, there is a character who's largely unknown and unacknowledged by the people and stories. In an Asian film, it this anonymity would have been brought up. The ignorance about this person's plight and suffering would have been the root of it all, not merely the pain of loss. But it also made good on the idea that after so long and so much pain and anger, the one thing that should have appeased the entity has no affect. Oddly, it has a happy ending, depending on how you see things.


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