Quick question, what scares you? Is it something classic like bugs, spiders or snakes? Something more abstract like failure? Or maybe you’re still haunted by the time you saw mommy and daddy “wrestling” in their room.
Well, hopefully it’s not windows, toys, or children, otherwise “The Woman in Black” is going to terrify you.
It’s hard to pinpoint where exactly this movie goes wrong. The acting isn’t bad, actually Daniel Radcliffe is relatively solid. It’s not the writing, which, though not Orwellian, is passable for a film of this genre. Honestly the worst part about this film is the pacing and the editing, both of which are so jarring that they rob the film of any real tension or drama.
“The Woman in Black” also languishes under the delusion that well-dressed little girls are scary, because … I dunno, hygiene?
The movie also suffers from a lack of consistent tone. 99 percent of the film is a morose broodfest that is more sultry than scary, but it tries its darndest to have an uplifting ending. Yeah … it doesn’t work out.
Radcliffe plays Arthur Kipps, an employee at a law firm who is sent to the Eel Marsh House to try and settle the affairs of the late owner so the house can be sold. If that sounds like the plot to any horror movie featuring a haunted or possessed house, it’s because it kind of is.
Now that’s not to say the movie is completely unoriginal, after all, it decides to make Kibbs a widower, who is trying to do right by his son. That’s super edgy and original … right?
Basically from there, it’s exactly what you would expect. The house is in a small town where the people are distrustful of outsiders, ones who blame Radcliffe for all of their problems since, you know, that’s logical. As a quick aside, though, it’s a shame that Radcliffe has been typecast as a pasty man who constantly travels throughout England by train.
I don’t want to get too much into the plot of the movie, one, because it’s a relatively new release and I don’t want to spoil anything, and two, because there’s not much plot to be had. Seriously, three-fourths of the movie is Radcliffe looking around wildly for the source of some strange bump in the night.
Now to be fair, the movie isn’t terrible, but it has the unfortunate distinction of being too bad to be good, and too competent to be funny. But I’m sorry, any movie that elicits laughs at any of its … ahem … tense moments isn’t worth paying upwards of $10 to see.