REVIEW: Be wary of “Woman in Black”

Star power (filmofilia.com)

Cooper Oznowicz

Who knew, that the kid who first started as Harry Potter would become a good actor in both stage and film? This horror film marks the first time Radcliffe as the leading man in something other than the Harry Potter machine.

However, this film is ultimately unmemorable and lacks the real chills that one searches for in a horror movie. As a plus, the acting by Radcliffe is good and his presence on screen is noticeable.

“The Woman In Black”, is in essence a story that centers around a young lawyer by the name of Arhthur Kipps (Daniel Radcliffe), who is a young father to a four year old son. And who still mourns his wife who died after giving birth. He is given a particular assignment at a large estate in a remote village.

Then all hell breaks loose, and Kipp is faced with the wrath of a vengeful ghost who is terrorizing the townspeople and haunting Kipp as well.

The film is an admirable attempt because it is truly a throwback horror film in the vain of Hitchcock’s “Birds”. It builds suspense in the old-fashion way of trying to develop a story and doesn’t go the way of recent horror films and show a lot of gore.

Instead, the film relies on chills and a unsettling tone that is reminiscent of another ghost film called “The Others” starring Nicole Kidman. The film builds a suspense of events occurring off camera more so than on screen. I have always felt that what the viewer cannot see is far more frightening than what the viewer actually sees.

“The Woman In Black” also boasts impressive costume and set design. The whole look of the film fits its intended time period, the Victorian era. It is beautifully shot and really makes for a convincing horror film of that time period.

All signs pointed to this film being great and I wanted it to be so. But when it came down to it, I wasn’t very entertained as a movie goer. I found myself actually bored at certain points.

What was maddening was the use of Radcliffe. He has the pizazz of a leading man, notably, his portrayal of J Pierpoint Finch in the recent Broadway musical “How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying”.

The films use of the actor was that of a mopey, sullen, lawyer searching around a haunted house for a ghost . I believe that his talents were not utilized correctly in this film. His talent has yet to be even tapped as the charismatic performer that he is.

Overall, “The Woman In Black” was a decent film. It served as a solid start of what I believe will be a long post-Harry career for Radcliffe. The film serves as the first real introduction to the public of Daniel Radcliffe.

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