My thoughts on film and life.

“The Woman in Black”

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Film stills © 2011 – CBS Films & the UK Film Council.

I have been looking forward to “The Woman in Black” ever since I first saw a teaser picture of Daniel Radcliffe filming last year. I had seen this on stage in Newcastle, UK in 2010 and was really excited about a film version. And, although there are times were things were changed (expected in a movie), I was not disappointed.

“The Woman in Black” was a great classic style horror movie. The type that messes with your head more than anything else – no extreme violence, gore, or mass murders. There are lots of dark passages, creaking sounds, and Daniel Radcliffe looking frightened by candle-light. This may seem like it’s boring and slow, but the filmmakers balance these suspenseful moments with scenes which surprise and shock you. (One of these moments caused a very high pitched scream from the woman sitting behind me in the theater.)

It’s always hard to write about a horror movie when you don’t want to ruin it for others. The more you know about a movie of this nature, the less you are likely to be surprised and frightened (which takes away half the point of the film). However, besides being a good horror movie, “The Woman in Black” has a thrilling plot which will keep the audience interested, even if they aren’t scared by the ‘scenes-which-make-you-jump’. The film begins with three young girls having a tea party with their dolls in their room. The next thing you know they all stand up together, and jump out a two story window – the audience is immediately curious. You are kept guessing through the whole movie.

Albeit a small cast, “The Woman in Black” has a great cast. Besides Daniel Radcliffe (who I was very excited to see as not Harry Potter), the cast includes Ciaran Hinds (most recently in “Tinker Tailor”) and Janet McTeer (from recent “Albert Nobbs” glory). Having two such wonderful actors in the film adds to an already well-done film.

Overall, “The Woman in Black” is probably not for everyone. Many who are used to today’s gory horror movies will probably find it boring. However, I found it thrilling, and it kept me interested until the end (even though I already knew the story). Although probably not as good as seeing the play on stage, “The Woman in Black” was a great movie.

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