The Woman in Black (2012)
The Noisy Woman
Following the death of his wife during giving birth to their son, Arthur Kipps (Daniel Radcliffe - Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2) has struggled to move on and it has affected his work as a lawyer. With the pressure on him to get back to his old ways Arthur is sent to the remote village of Cryphin Gifford to deal with Eel Marsh House part of the late Mrs. Drablow's estate. But his arrival is not welcomed as the locals believe the house to be haunted by a spiteful ghost who kills children. Fortunately for Arthur he finds an ally in Sam Daily (Ciaran Hinds - There Will Be Blood) who doesn't believe in the ghost stories.
"The Woman in Black" has a fantastic look be it the period detailing of the streets of the town to the elegance of a train carriage through to the creepiness of the fog engulfed house surrounded by water, it is all great. My hat goes off to the production team for creating a movie which looks brilliant and that goes to the costume department and the lighting team as it is spot on.
My hat also goes off to the actors as whilst Daniel Radcliffe cast as a young dad doesn't seem right on paper he sells the look of a man haunted by the loss of a loved one whilst also frightened and perplexed by what he encounters. He is also surrounded by a good cast who bring depth to their characters even those in minor roles as they all contribute to creating an air of unease.
And whilst my hat doesn't go off to the actual storyline with a haunted house and creepy deaths of young children is solid enough for a haunted house movie. In truth you can pretty much predict how it will play out but it builds things nicely elaborating on the story to expand on the early basics which we learn.
But and there has to be a but as whilst director James Watkins has done well to capture the atmosphere and unease of a haunted house movie he goes too far. The use of sudden noises whilst a classic tool of the horror genre which is too often over looked these days is over used here to the point of being annoying and detracting from the eerie atmosphere. It is a shame as everything else about the movie especially the sudden visual frights works but this one thing does a heck of a lot of damage.
What this all boils down to is "The Woman in Black" is a good horror movie which has bags of old fashioned atmosphere. But it is all undone by the over use of loud sounds which distract from much of what is good about the movie.
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