Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Movie Review: "The Woman in Black" (2012)

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Movie"The Woman in Black"
Director: James Watkins
Year: 2012
Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 1 hour, 35 minutes

Arthur Kipps (Daniel Radcliffe) is a lawyer who has been sent by his firm to a small town in the English countryside to settle the affairs of the late Alice Drablow at her Eel Marsh home. Arthur arrives in the town to find he has no room at the local inn where he was supposed to be booked and all the people of the town only seem to be concerned with him leaving. Since it is pouring rain, the innkeeper, at the insistence of his wife, allows Arthur to stay in the attic for just one night. The next morning, Arthur picks up some papers at the office of his local contact who insists that Arthur return to the train station and back to London immediately; but, doing so could cost him his job, therefore, Arthur bribes a cab driver to take him to Eel Marsh instead. Once there, Arthur explores the estate and sees a strange woman in black standing in the courtyard. He quickly finds out why the town folk didn't want him to go the house: there is a legend that whenever someone sees the woman in black, a child in the town will die. 

Daniel Radcliffe will always be Harry Potter no matter how old he is. I'm sure he gets tired of that comparison, but it's true, and it's hard to see him any other way since we've basically watched him grow up right in front of our eyes. He's precious to us! That being said, he's not a bad actor outside of the Potter-verse, but "The Woman in Black" is not a good film. It's not the worst horror movie we've seen, and we feel like we say this a lot, but nothing will be as bad as "Ouija." Well, maybe "Troll 2," but that has the semi-redeemable LOL factor. The story behind this movie isn't terrible, but again, it's not the best. So often in horror movies, there is a phantom being tormenting the living in a haunted gets tiresome rather quickly when there's nothing new to offer audiences. Also, remember in one of our most recent posts where we were discussing the difference between being startled and being scared during a horror movie? Well, this film is full of jump scares, and beyond one scene where a girl vomits blood, the movie is essentially gore-less. These jump scares do accomplish their intended goal every now and then, but most of the time, they are just grating and annoying and LOUD NOISES. One or two images towards the end of the film of the woman in black herself serve up some startles, yet the movie as a whole lacks the elusive scariness factor we desire. There are devil ghost children that appear everywhere and some minor creepy imagery that comes with a horrific wind-up clown, though, which does garner the film a couple of much needed points in our book. Beyond these PG-13 jump scares, there's really no suspense or thrills at all, that is, unless you are easily frightened. Daniel Radcliffe pretty much enters houses multiple times and walks up and down numerous sets of stairs and streets for an hour and 35 minutes. What's scary about that? Things lurking in the shadows does not a scary movie make. The one other good thing this film had was a tremendous amount of wonderful scenery and the settings and background shots were really well done. Wherever this movie was filmed, it's gorgeous and misty and eerie and the perfect setting for a horror film, but next time, it should be the setting for a better, actually scary one.

My Rating: 5/10
BigJ's Rating: 5/10
IMDB's Rating: 6.5/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 66%
Do we recommend this movie: Meh.

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