Monday, February 6, 2012

Review: The Woman in Black

DISCLAIMER: These reviews were written separately without either of us knowing what the other was writing.

The Wife: You're a wizard, Harry! Oops, wrong movie! Seriously folks our beloved Harry Potter, or Daniel Radcliffe, as he is actually known, did not disappoint in the thriller film, The Woman in Black.

Finally, I convinced the husband, who is a scary movie hater (seriously don't let him convince you otherwise... he drinks the hateraid!) to see The Woman in Black. I am sure I won this battle because the movie starred "the boy who lived." Alright, I know the Harry Potter jokes are getting old. Despite Daniel Radcliffe having the lead role, I still thought that the trailer for The Woman in Black was quite intriguing. That being said, Daniel Radcliffe was an added bonus because I was itching to see him outside of the Harry Potter role as well as in a film of this nature.

The opening sequence of The Woman in Black instantly had me on the edge of my seat, and I would remain in this stance for the duration of the movie! I certainly felt uneasy throughout the entire film. Of course there were a few cheap "jump" scares, but as a whole the film did an excellent job portraying an overall creepy atmosphere. I was instantly captivated by the story of The Woman in Black and found myself eagerly, yet cautiously awaiting each scene! As for Daniel Radcliffe's acting I will say that it was a bit weird at first to see him on screen without the famous spectacles and not as my beloved Harry. However, he quickly became the Arthur character of The Woman in Black and I was able to stop seeing him just as Harry Potter. He did an excellent job, and while Daniel Radcliffe will probably always be known for his role in Harry Potter, it is evident that the guy can act.

Overall, I really enjoyed The Woman in Black. As I mentioned previously, the eerie atmosphere completely enabled me to immerse myself in the scary movie experience. The end of the movie also left me thinking, and of course, made me want to sleep with the light on!

Hobo Dan: The Wife believes I hate scary movies. False. I like scary movies; it just takes more than loud, unexpected noises to frighten me. Luckily, while The Woman in Black is full of these cheap scares, it also provides some more tangible creeps in the form of lighting, acting and setting. To be honest I wasn’t looking forward to this movie. The Wife even admitted the main reason she wanted to see it was because of Daniel Radcliffe. By the way Daniel, you are excellent and I will never refer to you as “the kid from Harry Potter”. What I found was a creepy little story set in the English country side. This isn’t going to blow anyone away, but it is a much better investment than the average scary movies of late with their 3D effects and gallons of blood.

Like I said, this movie is at its best when setting the mood. Be it the old haunted house which is situated on Nine Lives Causeway where the road floods over at high tide, or the excellent camera and lighting tricks, the film is constantly giving you a sense of dread. The moody setting allows the cheap “jump out of your seat” scares to have their intended effect, but it also sets you on edge, never allowing a moment to relax. The acting is very good, although for a large potion of the film of the film Mr. Radcliffe is alone and has very little dialog. He does an excellent job using his face to react to things happening, but these scenes are never able to hide the fact that this was a book before a movie. I’m guessing these parts of the book are filled with inner monologue, shedding light into the thoughts of the main character that are missing for the film.

I enjoyed The Woman in Black. I didn’t find it as scary as the teenage girls in the theatre did, but I enjoyed it for its quality acting, beautiful scenery and interesting story which, if strengthened, could have really improved the overall package. So if you really enjoy scary movies, go to the dark theater and see this; preferably without the screaming teenagers. If you don’t generally fall for the “jump out of your seat” tactic, I’d still recommend this for story, cinematography and the creepy as hell porcelain toys.

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