By Annie Wen
I have to say, I am quite a big Harry Potter fan. I have seen all the movies and read all the books so many times I cannot even count. So when I heard that Daniel Radcliffe was going to be in a non-Harry Potter movie, I could not wait to go see it. I was even more intrigued by the trailer; it seemed so scary and so un-Harry Potter like.
While the film itself is not by any means a bad movie, for me it did not quite live up to standards.
The Woman in Black is originally a 1983 novel written by Susan Hill. The film stars Radcliffe as Arthur Kipps, a struggling young lawyer with a young son to take care of. He is given one last chance to prove himself as a lawyer and is sent to settle the legal affairs of a recently deceased woman, Alice Drablow. This task requires him to visit her house, known as the Eel Marsh House.
Kipps finds out quickly that the village of Mrs. Drablow has something to hide. The children are barricaded inside the houses and the townspeople attempt to drive Kipps away from the house and the village. In the house, Kipps experiences some strange things. Kipps soon learns about the town’s haunted past and who the woman in black is. He is determined to finish his job and set everything right for the town, risking his own life and safety to do so. When his own son is placed in danger, Kipps decides to take matters in his own hands to save his son.
The Woman in Black stars Ciaran Hinds, Janet McTeer, Sophie Stuckey, Liz White, and Alisa Khansanova. The film is directed by James Watkins, and is rated PG-13 for violence/disturbing images.
This film definitely has some intense and scary moments, and it does a fairly good job of scaring; however, quite a lot of the scary moments are anti-climactic. As with any scary movie, the score of the film is a big part of the scare factor. The music choice definitely contributed to the film, but it was also a slight distraction and it took away from the cinematography.
In this film, we can see Radcliffe stepping away from his beloved Harry Potter character and taking on a more serious role. While he does a fairly decent job, the scenes with his young son are just not believable, even with his sideburns and nice business suit, he just does not fit the role of a dad. I had rather high standards for him in this movie, seeing as how this movie was his chance to prove himself as an actor, and it pains me to say that he did not fully accomplish that.
Radcliffe does a decent job at portraying a character plagued by sadness and desperation, however the emotion is only skin-deep. In the film’s scarier moments, I could believe him more, but in the scenes where he is thinking about his son or his deceased wife, I just could not make myself believe him and his emotions
All in all, The Woman in Black is worth going to see for those of you who enjoy a little scare and a good ghost story. For the scaredy cats, it is OK you can go see this film too. It is not that bad, I promise.