Cast: Daniel Radcliffe, Janet Mcteer and Claran Hinds
Pop Rating: 9/10
I was filled with anticipations upon viewing this surprisingly scary film adaptation of the stage play, The Woman in Black. The acting is solid, the locations are great and the story is...well...average.
The Woman in Black follows the story of a young lawyer, Mr Kipp's. Kipp's is a young family man struggling to maintain his job and also deal with the stresses of being a single parent. When, Mr Kipps is asked to sort through the will and testament of a recently deceased couple, He soon realises that there is something strange afoot, he must uncover the secrets of the house and its residents; in order to bring order and peace to the village that surrounds it.
Before I start my review I want to say that I watched it on a 50" plasma screen with 5.1 surround sound. So the scare factor of the film may be slightly different depending on where you watch it, all I know is, is that I did not consider myself to be easily scared, however this film certainly destroyed that theory. Without further a do lets crack on with this film.
From Harry Potter to a young lawyer and family man, Daniel Radcliffe has got quite some range as an actor even if his child like looks do undermine his believablity as a widowed father, however in reality the age at which he was married was never discussed. I definitely think that as soon as the action begins this minor flaw is some what eradicated.
Watching the extras of the film I found out that the Actress of the Woman in Black character; had previously been playing the same role but on stage. I always love to see the cross breeding of on screen and on stage talent, it is incredibly heart warming.
The positioning of the woman in Black was done perfectly. You only ever see enough of her to scare you, some films in this particular genre seem to think that after you have introduced the ghost or ghoul you can then pepper the next hour and a half with a load of ghostly appearances. Well unfortunately if you want to scare some one you have to play on the idea of suggestion and keep them guessing as much as you possibly can. The best horrors are the simplest ones, suspense=scares!
The setting was perfect, the manor house was to begin with a very pristine mansion that the set designers and crew had gone in and...transformed. I loved the locations they chose to film in, each had the right amount of atmosphere and beauty. I can't actually seem to find where it was specifically; but the village parts seemed to be set in the peak district or the Yorkshire dales areas. Both places I love and want to live in.
The one major footfall of this film for me was the ending. Now as usual I will not give any spoilers how ever the end scene was I felt abit rushed. I did not like the fact that she made a decision without Mr Kip's consent. If you haven't seen the ending or have seen it you can tell me what you think of the ending in the comments below or on Yahoo Answers.
In summary then I would say that this is a great horror film which given its low BBFC rating still manages to deliver scares in all the right places. As I was writing this review, I was informed that in order for them to fit most of the story into the film they had to sacrifice the relationship Mr Kip's has with his dead wife and the afterlife. they tried to hint at his interest in the possibility of the afterlife, however I think that should have been the part of the plot that was covered alot more heavily. You will not regret seeing this film. It's beautifully artistic and great to watch with... most of the family.