Wednesday, 7 March 2012

The Woman in Black (2012)

The Woman in Black is a good old haunted house on a hill ghost story. There is a goodly amount of suspense, and several jumpy moments; two of which are really good. When Arthur Kipps (Daniel Radcliffe) is sent by his firm of lawyers to tie up the estate of the recently-deceased owner of a mansion, he catches sight of the mysterious Woman in Black. Unfortunately, whenever she is seen, children in the local village start dying, seemingly of their own volition.

Very sinister indeed, and the film does well generating suspense and a real sense of mystery. Practically shot in monochrome, the film feels very edgy; enhanced by the villagers' superstition and inherent distrust of anyone that shows any interest in the mansion. I think that it will be a while until Daniel Radcliffe can shake Harry Potter, but he does quite well here; helped by the fact that he doesn't speak very much. Though every time he took a slug of whisky I kept thinking "But you're still at school!" Ciaran Hinds was excellent throughout as the only skeptic in the village; and the scenes between him and Radcliffe were always very good. Ironically enough the woman in black is played by Liz White!

Overall The Woman in Black was an effective and chilling Hammer Horror with a classic haunted house plot. Well acted, and despite using a lot of the old tropes associated with the genre, a genuinely spooky movie. The suspense was fairly constant for much of the film, but actually perhaps not as tense as something like The Grey.