With the Harry Potter series officially over, Daniel Radcliffe has been busy doing plays. You can imagine my surprise when I saw him as the star of the latest horror movie the Woman in Black. Now whenever I see a horror movie trailer I typically roll my eyes because most of them are very cheesy and over hyped. As a result, I wasn’t too excited about this movie and thought that it would follow the stereotypical horror genre. Well to tell you the truth it did, but for once I was actually a little creeped out by this movie, which hasn’t occurred in a long time. So if you are interested in reading my thoughts continue on below.
To me most modern horror movies try to scare people by loud screams and creatures or objects suddenly jumping out at you. Well The Woman in Black takes full advantage of this scare tactic to a degree of over use. Many of these sudden surprises were easy for me to protect, thanks to the camera work, and were usually not that scary to me. A majority of the audience, however, jumped at most of these scenes, and many of them screamed as well. If you are one who startles easily, then you will surely be entertained or scared throughout this movie, and if you enjoy being scared that makes this film even better. For me however, I was frightened more by the scenery and camera work than anything else. The feeling of isolation and mystery combined with the cold stares and lifeless objects gave me chills that I haven’t felt in a long time in a horror movie. The film crew essentially made my imagination fill in the gaps and paint a picture that was much worse than the actual ghosts themselves.
So the film crew did a nice job with the filming, but what else can I tell you about the movie. I guess the next thing to talk about is the story of the Woman in Black. Like most horror movies these days, the story for this movie is fairly predictable and easy to uncover. The various clues, the victims of the woman’s crimes, and the emphasis on various pieces of paper allowed me to guess all the surprises within about thirty minutes of the movie. However, there were a few twists that I did not predict, only one of which was really surprising. Now most people I know are not into this genre for the story, but still you can do better than this and can make it a little less predictable.
Regardless of the story, there are a few other things to report about this movie. Perhaps the biggest thing to complement on is the acting of Radcliffe and his fellow co actor Roger Allam who played Radcliffe’s wingman. Radcliffe managed to catch the quiet, intense, and tragic hero role down once more, and seems to have a gift for playing characters with tragic pasts. Although he is no longer casting spells and fighting wizards, he still manages to make his character interesting and helps you latch on to the character and wonder what will happen to him. Allam as well does a great job and his character helps fill in some gaps in the story, while still providing that friend factor that further strengthens Radcliff’s character. Another positive for this movie is that I definitely did not feel any slow parts in this movie, thanks to the scenery and suspense keeping my attention in this movie. Perhaps the other thing that kept the pace quick and kind of refreshed the audiences’ attention are the various deaths in the film. Each of them is rather sudden and none of them are in that cheesy way that slasher films like Saw and Final Destination have made famous. Perhaps the last thing I will mention in this film is that it is very depressing. You may be saying, “Are you surprised? It is a horror movie after all.” Well yes I agree, but this movie is not drowned in cheesy kills, or fake looking monsters to keep the movie slightly upbeat. Instead there is no ray of hope throughout most of this movie and the constant cloud of depression that sweeps over the movie can bring you down.
To wrap up this review, Woman in Black is definitely a horror movie worthy of a big screen visit. The use of the imagination and setting are well combined to create an environment that will give you chills and make you feel very alone. Radcliffe was an excellent choice as well, and will provide you a character that you will latch on to the moment you learn his story. However, the predictable story and flood of obvious startling scenes take away from this movie and eventually become more annoying than anything. Taking everything into account, my scores are as followed:
Movie overall: 7.0-7.5
Hopefully next week I will have more reviews for you, but until then have fun and continue to enjoy the movie!