Movie Review – The Woman in Black (2012)

Film: The Woman in Black
Released: 2012
Director: James Watkins
Stars: Daniel Radcliffe, Janet McTeer, Ciarán Hinds

Based on the novel, The Woman in Black by Susan Hill.

A young lawyer travels to a remote village where he discovers the vengeful ghost of a scorned woman is terrorizing the locals.

What I thought of it:
I was brought up on Hammer Horror films, so it’s wonderful to see the greatest of the British horror production companies so firmly back on track with the latest film version of this novel. I’ve spent my entire life trying to find a film that will really scare me. Along the way I’ve found plenty that have made me jump, but none that have completely creeped me out. This, however, came very close. The best test of this came when I went to get a snack from the kitchen and felt like I was being watched from the darkened corridor… and nobody was there!

This is Radcliffe’s real coming of age – with this film, he’s leaving behind Harry Potter and schoolboy roles to take on a more adult one and, on the whole, it works very well for him. He still looks and sounds rather young to be playing a father, but he acquitted himself very well and I look forward to seeing where he goes next.

Having watched the made-for-television version (1989) in the latter half of last year, it was still fresh in my mind and I hoped that this remake would live up to my expectations, both of the earlier version and the promise shown in the trailer. It didn’t let me down. This is a genuinely creepy film that has some spine-tingling moments and several “made you jump!” shots too (I counted three times that I caught myself physically jerk, and that has to be some kind of a record for me!).

Ciarán Hinds is always a pleasure to watch – I’ve never seen him turn in a bad performance and he can make the worst material better just by being there on the screen. He certainly wasn’t wasted here and when he has really good material with which to work, he really shines – Hinds really should be marked as one of our national treasures.

One of my greatest worries was that we’d get a cop-out, Hollywood-ised ending, but I promise you, my fears were (mostly) ungrounded, so I must applaud the director for not frittering away a great ghost story for the feel-good factor.

And on a final note, I really must read the book because I’ve now seen TWO cracking adaptations and am just dying to check out the source material!

Hubby’s review HERE.

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5 responses to “Movie Review – The Woman in Black (2012)

  1. Smurfin review coming Wednesday =)

  2. Cool! Off to see if I can rent it over here. Thanks for the great review!

  3. Nice review – I’ve had mixed feelings about seeing this – both wanting to see how DR does in a more adult role and not wanting to have the beejebus scared out of me!