Review: The Woman in Black (2012)

Here’s a movie that is watch worthy for the spooks. Don’t go expecting too much of graphics in this one. Detailed review below.

Plot: The story is set in late nineteenth/ early twentieth century. A young father who’s in financial stress, tries to take up an assignment of dealing with papers pertaining to an old estate that is now long vacant. To him, this could mean saving his job. The only problem is that, the house he tries to assess, and the village nearby is haunted by the Woman in Black.

Effects: As can be expected in a ghost flick, there are quite a lot of frames that have been captured only to arrest the attention of the viewer; either with a subtle fingerprint appearing on a window or creepy noises, one is kept in the edge of their seat. Apart from this, there are also scenes, like that of a fire accident, that are very neatly done without too much gore. Whenever she appears on the screen, the ghost itself is made to appear extremely calm (except in the last scene) – something that is extremely unnerving for the viewer. The crescendo that accompanies the final time we see her in the mansion, makes it a really exciting watch. The set (mansion/ village) itself is quite brilliantly done.

Cast and Performance: Daniel Radcliffe is the protagonist of this tale and has done quite well in his first movie performance since the Harry Potter series. His natural act does give away in moments where you expect more fear or action out of him. But this is probably good in a way, as it wards off his Potter series histrionics (that is still stuck in our mind). Roger Allam as Bentley is probably the only other actor who shares a good spoil of the screen time and does okay. The tale is probably too thick with the haunted scenes that one would probably not recollect the other minor characters in this film.

Direction: The director (James Watkins) has stuck to traditional spooks to keep the audience entertained. This does extremely well, considering the fact that the whole tale is set in an era which may not mingle that well with too much of special effects. As explained above, he has made sure that Radcliffe doesn’t keep himself in his wizardly shadows. Directing the sequence of events in a very straightforwardly manner probably meant that the intention was not to get the audience too preoccupied in piecing together a story, but rather enjoy the thrills that come with a horror flick.

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