Movie Issues Review: The Woman in Black

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Movie Issues Review: The Woman in Black

Harry Potter’s fought a lot of crazy stuff while at Hogwarts, but now school’s over and there’s no hocus pocus left to get him out of a jam.

Yeah I know The Woman in Black isn’t another Harry Potter sequel, but I can’t help it, Daniel Redcliffe has been Harry Potter for a decade. Now he’s on his own though without the support of Potter-Heads and his trusty wand. Can Daniel Redcliffe handle the leading role of this Gothic Horror?

Leland and Spooky from Movie Issues saw The Woman in Black and had this to say about it:

Leland

“The Woman in Black” is a dark, gothic ghost story at its heart. Set at the turn of the century in England, a young lawyer travels to a remote village where he discovers the vengeful ghost of a scorned woman who will stop at nothing to make the locals feel her pain and anger for what’s she lost. He must fight to save himself and the local village to uncover the true story of this very rage fueled ghost. The movie has many dark and moody scenes, which look wonderful and add so much to the all ready over whelming creepy vibe.

The pros of the film are the tone and look. The director set out to make a scary movie and he did. Arthur Kipps, played very well by young actor Daniel Redcliffe, a man at the end of his rope trying not to fall apart. He carries the weight of the movie and his character like a seasoned pro. I feel he might have been a tad too young for the role itself, but that also could be from the fact that no matter what he does in life he will always be compared to Harry Potter. Which is not a bad thing at all; just a little hard to get out of my mind here and there during the movie. Certain scenes would have been so much easier for him if he just had his wand with him.

The con of the film is that I feel once you find out what the “villain” is up to I personally found them not to be as big of a threat anymore. Not that they aren’t by any means, there are still quite a lot of threats in the final act and some damn good scares to be had; I just felt like some of the “villain’s” weight had been lifted is all. I also found that we don’t spend as much time with the other characters as I would have wanted too. There were some very interesting things going on in the town I would like to have known more about, but at the end of the day that’s not what the story is about, it’s about Arthur uncovering this mystery at hand.

There are some decent scares and some wonderful costumes that just add to the over all feeling of dread in this damn fine looking period piece. Over all this was a fun, scary, dark film that was very good. I enjoyed it a lot and would recommend it to people who like these kinds of films.

Spooky

Ever wonder where all the good creepy horror movies have gone? With Paranormal Activity standing as a place holder for what’s supposed to be a good ghost story it’s nice to see a movie going a little old school get genuine scares.

That’s exactly what The Woman in Black is doing this weekend in theaters, bringing it old school, kinda literally. Literally since the movie is set in what the audience is supposed to assume is the early 1900’s as the automobile is still a new invention, but has yet to reach the smaller populated hamlets. In such a hamlet we find the ghost of a scorned woman is haunting her old manor and boding an ill omen on the town. Several children have died both violently and tragically, and the superstitious town folk blame the spooky specter (see what I did there) for the wrong doing. This sets the stage for a young Arthur Kipps (Daniel Redcliff), a struggling father and lawyer, who comes to town looking to finish legal documents for the sale of the haunted manor, only to find himself caught up in the deaths of the children.

The Pros: This movie is brimming with atmosphere. Between the sets, costuming, and locations, this movie tells you without words that nothing is safe and everyone has secrets. The atmosphere helps set a lot of the eerie tone of the movie that keeps you looking for the moving shadows in the background. The story also keeps a solid slow but building pace that when combined with the uncomfortable setting makes for a great mystery. Throwing away the current style of telegraphing the scares, The Woman in Black does an amazing job of building fear in its audience with the sounds of creaking wood and subtle visuals.

The Cons: The biggest complaint that could be had is perhaps Daniel Redcliff as the lead. Throughout the movie he appears uncomfortable and mildly clueless as to who the character of Arthur Kipps is. For his benefit though the supporting cast does an outstanding job of keeping the audience in the story, though brief as their appearances may be. The climax may also be disappointing to some, but only from a story point of view as some character’s motives seem questionable.

The movie isn’t perfect, but its flaws are small and easily forgivable if at all noticeable in its first watch. All in all The Woman in Black is a great ghost story that I would wholly recommend to people who are fans of The Exorcist or The Others. The return to Gothic Horror is a breath of fresh musky air that gets under your skin and stays there well after the movie is over.