Saturday, April 14, 2012

Thoughts on... The Woman in Black

Hey there.  Sometime last week, I treated the family out to the theaters to catch a flick.  The wife found this great spot where movie tickets are no more than $3.  Now that is awesome!  The only catch is that the films have been out for more than a month so they're not the newest of films.  Nevertheless, if I haven't seen em, they're new to me and to catch a flick on the big screen for only $3 is pretty damn awesome!  Anyways, the film that we ended up watching was The Woman in Black starring Harry Potter.. er... Daniel Radcliffe.  I've heard that the film was worth a look and I'm still trying to shake Radcliffe as Potter.  lol  If you haven't had a chance to see the film and plan to, don't continue.  SPOILERS AHEAD!  But you have seen it, then go ahead and read my thoughts on...  The Woman in Black.

First off, the first half of the movie is pretty slow.  I understand that they are trying to build the lore of the woman in black and they are trying to create an eerie atmosphere, but man, did it drag on.  It didn't seem like the story was progressing at all.  Aside from the opening scene, there really isn't much going on for the first 20 to 30 mins of the film.

The scenery is awesome and considering that film is set in Europe, Potter's... er...  Radcliffe's accent was well suited.  I also loved the authenticity of the 1800's that the film set out to convey.  That car?  Old school that's insured for about $ 30 mil.  The creepy dolls and toys?  All real toys from the 19th century.  It game the film an added shade of "holy crap" that I loved.  Freaky toys and dolls have always creeped me out and having them all over this film gave me the heebie jeebies!
Creating nightmares since the 19th century
The audio and visuals in the film are pretty awesome.  A glance at something there and a creepy ass sound over there.  The definitely had it's tense moments.  So much so that the wife didn't let go of my arm for most of the film and my daughter would whisper" Can I open my eyes now?"  lol  There were a few "cheap" scares with a loud shriek and a sudden apparition, but over all it was extremely tasteful. I thought that this is where the movie shined brightest.  The old creepy house, the creepy toys, the eerie music, the "what was that" moments.  All were put together very well to create some genuinely tense moments.  Kudos!

As for the story itself, it was pretty original yet old school.  Let me explain.  I'm usually pretty good at figuring out these horror flicks about mid way through.  This one, however, I just couldn't.  Maybe it was because the film was so slow that big plot events didn't happen until later in the film.  The whole, kids being taken by the woman in black because she's "bad" was in my mind early but I just couldn't figure out why.  An older woman possessed by her child long gone hints that the woman in black "makes them do it" gives the only real glimpse as to what is going on.  When Radcliffe's character assumes that she's taking kids because she couldn't find her own child when he died was a bit of let down, to be honest.  But was it really the reason driving the woman in black?  The ending of the film suggests that he may have been wrong.  Why else would the woman "command" Radcliffe's boy to jump on the train tracks even after her boy was returned to her?  It just didn't seem right.  It didn't seem like he solved anything.  But then it hit me.  The plot is more suited for the time the film takes place.  The Woman in Black is a great ghost story of times past.  A story that would keep kids awake at night.  Because today's horror films use modern times to tell their stories, you write it off as something that can't happen.  If you believe in the supernatural, who are we to say that something like this couldn't or didn't happen to someone before?  Interesting thought, no?
And lastly, a few thoughts on the kids.  I was surprised to see deaths of kids in this film.  It's rated PG 13 and I wasn't expecting that.  And yeah, I said kids.  There were the 3 girls jumping out of the window, the girl that drank lyre, and the girl that burned to death in her room.  Now that one was insane.  The girl looked straight into Radcliffe's character's eyes, with a lantern in her hands, and smashed it at her feet, burning herself alive.  Yeah, that was crazy.  I wasn't expecting to see a child burning herself at the command of a ghost.

The film is a refreshing reminder that an old fashion ghost story can still be chilling.  The film is not great by any means, but it is a welcomed addition to horror genre.  So what did you think of The Woman in Black?  Later!


  1. Yea, we have a place like that here in Pennsylvania in harrisburg for many years that does the same thing for $2 a ticket.

  2. I haven't saw this movie.. But i already watched the trailer.. I hoped to have a copy of this movie soon.. perfect for Halloween! spooky! ;)


Thank you for your comment. Comments are reviewed within the hour I receive the request.