Saturday, 3 March 2012

Film Review: THE WOMAN IN BLACK (2012)

The Woman in Black - poster Director: James Watkins
Writers: Susan Hill (novel), Jane Goldman (screenplay)
Running time: 95 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): 12A

Genre: Drama/Horror/Thriller
UK Release date: 10th February 2012

Watched at the cinema Saturday 3rd March 2012.


A damp Saturday afternoon and my first chance to see the latest film under the revitalised ‘Hammer’ banner. Starring Daniel Radcliffe (of Harry Potter fame) this brought out an assortment of youths much to my dismay and, predictably, they lived down to my expectations. I didn’t let this distract me too much from the screen though and we ended up with a pretty decent afternoon’s entertainment in the end. Here’s a brief plot summary before I give you my thoughts.

The Woman in Black - 2 When a young lawyer, Arthur Kipps, is sent to a remote coastal village in the north of England to settle the estate of a deceased client, he finds a lot more than he bargained for. Grieving himself for his wife who died giving birth to their son, Joseph, he finds a rather frosty reception at the local Inn. The following day, when Kipps decides to go to the house, at the end of a remote causeway, the locals are less than enthusiastic about him going there. Eel Marsh House is creepy and he sees what he thinks is a woman in black in the garden. Little does he know what this will mean to the locals. He is befriended by Daily, a rich man who has also lost a son; Daily invites him to stay with them. Mrs Daily is psychic and is trying to tell Kipps something. As he unravels the story of what happened at Eel Marsh House, Kipps begins to realise that his own son could be in danger, and he’s heading north with the nanny. I will leave it there or the Spoiler Police (Scary Films Division) will be moving shadows and putting strange reflections in mirrors for me (again).

The Woman in Black - 1 Really well shot with some very subtle effects; this did impress me, but then again, we Brits are getting pretty good at it now. Now to performances and a word about Daniel Radcliffe who played Arthur Kipps; I thought he played the part well, however, because he is who he is, he comes with a certain amount of baggage. That is, we all know what he’s done in the past and we all know how old he is. The trouble is, knowing this, it made it hard for me to reconcile his actual age with the age of his character and, although he is very good, it kept nagging at me all the way through. Other performances of note include; Ciarán Hinds as Daily, Janet McTeer as Mrs Daily, Shaun Dooley as Fisher and Mary Stockley as Mrs Fisher.

The Woman in Black - 8 This film has quite a slow deliberate pace that adds to the atmosphere and suspense of the storyline. It also heightens the effect of the shocks that hit you every now and then. The plot is quite grown up and I have heard it said that when they set the certificate here in the UK at 12A, it should mean 12 and no younger and I entirely agree. There were a few younger than 12 in the audience with me today and I can almost guarantee most of them will be having nightmares tonight. On a personal level, I enjoyed it very much. It has be criticised for there not being enough scares in it, but for me there was just enough (given its certification). Over all, if you’re over 12 and like being scared… Recommended.

My score: 7.3/10.

IMDb Score: 7.0/10 (based on 15,376 votes when this review was written).

Rotten Tomatoes ‘Tomatometer’ Score: 65/100 (based on 161 reviews counted at the time of going to press).

Rotten Tomatoes ‘Audience’ Score: 63/100 (based on 36,665 user ratings counted at the time of going to press).

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The Woman in Black - 3 FAVOURITE QUOTES:
Daily: I believe the most rational mind can play tricks in the dark.

Jennet: I will never forgive.

The Woman in Black - 7 LINKS:
(Note: All were working at the time of going to press)
Official Site:

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