Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Woman In Black (2012)

Arthur Kipps (Daniel Radcliffe) is a young lawyer, who is forced into a tough situation. His wife, Stella (Sophie Stuckey) died shortly after giving birth to their young son, Joesph (Misha Handley). Although, Kipps doesn’t have to raise Joesph alone, because he does receive some help from the nanny. But the overdue bills start piling up fast, Kipp’s job is in danger, and he needs to make more money. Arthur must leave Joesph behind for a short time, as he travels to another town to handle the estate of Alice Drablow. Arthur isn’t welcomed by the townspeople. They want him to leave, but Arthur decides to stay, because he NEEDS to keep his job. But Arthur might regret his decision soon enough, because Alice’s ghost begins to reek havoc. Arthur freaks out, as the old house begins to show signs of a haunting, and Kipps slowly learns about the mysterious legend of The Woman In Black. Alice’s (The Woman In Black) “son” died in a tragic accident years ago, and her ghost terrorizes the other kids in town. This is her way of seeking vengeance. The young children begin to die in a series of gruesome suicides, and the ghost of Alice could be the cause of the tragic deaths, that continue to plague the quiet little town. Arthur is running out of time. His son Joesph is traveling to meet him, but Arthur tries to stop his son’s arrival, because Joesph could be the next target of The Woman In Black.

I really tried to get into this, but for the most part, I just couldn’t. The scare tactics did become tiresome very quickly, and after a while, the spook moments really didn’t do anything for me. “Hey! Let’s just have The Woman In Black randomly appear out of nowhere, because it’ll be SCARY!” Well, this formula could’ve worked, but they really went overboard with the “surprise” appearances from the main ghost in this film. The first couple of appearances from The Woman In Black can provide a few jump scares, but the pattern of having her randomly appear, while screaming does become very predictable as time goes on. The Woman In Black quickly loses her shock value in this film, because you can clearly see her “unexpected” appearances coming from a mile away. “The Woman In Black should pop up out of nowhere. It’s going to happen any minute now…again.” This is the feeling I had halfway through the film, and the constant pop up appearances from The Woman In Black do become very annoying after a while. You’ll also see a bunch of dead children/ghosts, who appear out of nowhere, and these moments did bring a few facepalms out of me. The having “dead people stand around with emotionless looks on their faces” routine didn’t provide any scares for me. In fact, this routine just becomes boring after a while. Again, this sort of scare tactic loses its shock value QUICKLY, when you overdo it, and they did run this particular routine into the ground. For fuck’s sake, a group of flying pigeons provided a better and more unpredictable jump scare than the dead people/ghosts in this film, and that can’t be looked at as a good sign.

As this film progressed, The Woman In Black really couldn’t provide anymore scares for me, but this wasn’t a horrible film. The acting is pretty solid, and this film did feature some good tension at times. Also, Eel Marsh (the haunted house of The Woman In Black) did provide a creepy and chilling atmosphere. Eel Marsh did have this genuine spooky feeling, and the scenes that featured the haunted house could provide some nail biting moments. The Woman In Black isn’t anything to brag about, but this was a decent enough horror flick. They do show a little blood here, and you will see a few dead bodies, but overall, the gory stuff in this film is very tamed. Although, this was a PG-13 film, so you can’t expect a gruesome and bloody horror flick. This is not a memorable film by any means, and this one does have its dull moments, but you might enjoy this, if you lower expectation levels for anything good or great.

The Woman In Black is average, but Daniel Radcliffe wasn’t bad as the lead man. His post Harry Potter career is in full swing, and this was an okay start for him. Radcliffe did give a good effort here, and he did provide a solid enough performance. Radcliffe is still very young, so he has plenty of time left. Most people will always think of the heroic young wizard, when they look at Radcliffe, and he could suffer an identity crisis for some time. But Radcliffe did receive a lot of exposure from the Potter films, and he is still young, so he does have plenty of time to emerge from Harry Potter’s shadow.

Final Rating: 5/10

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