Friday, February 3, 2012

The Woman in Black (2012)

           Janet McTeer
           Ciarán Hinds
Directed by:  James Watkins
Summary: A young lawyer travels to a remote village where he discovers the vengeful ghost of a scorned woman is terrorizing the locals. (via imdb). 
James Watkins has made a beautiful, atmospheric movie. It is wildly cliched, sometimes overacted (mostly by grief-stricken mothers) and I suspect the ending will divide the audience greatly. This is a Hammer film in all senses of the words. It's gothic, dark, moody and large-scoped. That's the good...
This is a mass-market audience film, so horror afficianados will probably be disappointed with it. It has a heavy reliance on jump scares (usually accompanied my a loud music chord) instead of building tension, and it is chock full of standard Hollywood horror movie tropes. That being said, it is a solid haunted house/spirit revenge movie and it delivers what it promises and performs well for what it is. Daniel Radcliffe is good in his role, if somewhat disconnected from the action and unbelievable in some of his actions. There are some absolutely chilling moments, especially in the death scenes and spirits that come out of the shadows.
It's not going to make my favorites list, but it is one that I will watch again when it's on cable.

On a side-note. If you want to see a ghost movie this weekend, I strongly recommend The Innkeepers. Audience dollars strongly influence where the studios give their money, and although The Woman in Black is a decent movie, it pales in comparison to Ti West's haunting (pun somewhat intentional) tale of a New England inn in it's last days. Support independent horror and send a message to the studios that we want more than typical horror.

The Woman in Black - 6 out of 10
The Innkeepers - 9 out of 10

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