The Woman in Black

Film

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Time Out rating:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>3</span>/5

User ratings:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>3</span>/5
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Time Out says

Mon Apr 11 2011

Hanging on to your movie career is a trial for any child actor, but for Daniel Radcliffe, who is associated not just with youthfulness but with one very specific, well-loved role, it’s going to be an uphill battle. He’s made a good first step with this smart, spooky adaptation of Susan Hill’s bestselling novel – famous also as a long-running West End show – but the sight of Harry Potter with mutton chops and a two-year-old son can still take a spot of getting used to.

Radcliffe plays Arthur Kipps, a widowed lawyer who travels to a remote northern village to oversee the sale of Eel Marsh House, a coastal mansion which the locals regard with superstitious suspicion. It’s not long before a series of child deaths lead Kipps to suspect the presence of an otherworldly force: the ghostly Woman in Black.In story terms, there’s little here we’ve not seen in countless haunted-house movies or special BBC dramas for the bank holiday audience. But it’s put together with panache – ‘Eden Lake’ director James Watkins proves himself a master of the short, sharp shock – and a superbly maintained air of clammy dread, thanks in large part to an appropriately murky visual palette.

Radcliffe is solid rather than spectacular, but that serves the film: Kipps is a tight-lipped sort, though it never prevents us from rooting for him. Able support is provided by Ciaran Hinds, whose turn as the local landlord is the most likeable here. Other characters fare less well – the townsfolk are a motley bunch of industry-standard ee-by-gummers – and we’re certainly not encouraged to care about the Woman’s hapless young victims. Like the house itself, ‘The Woman in Black’ is old-fashioned, ornate, imposing, occasionally creaky – and possessed of more than a few enjoyably nasty surprises.

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Release details

UK release:

Fri Feb 10, 2012

Cast and crew

Director:

James Watkins

Cast:

Daniel Radcliffe, Janet McTeer, Ciarán Hinds

Screenwriter:

Jane Goldman

Users say

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5

Average User Rating

3.1 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:4
  • 4 star:5
  • 3 star:4
  • 2 star:5
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|32
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Anon.

I think the acting in the film is above par, but unfortunately, I do not like the story in itself. How very typical of a horror story. A young man torn from his family, to visit an eerie, ghost run house - even being warned by everyone to keep away, the protagonist stays the night - really, who would? It seems to have dispersed and left his life, but no, of course not. His loving family is to be wrecked by 'She who shan't be named' . Every technique used to full - not a great idea. But I give credit to how it's written, beautifully constructed despite the content. Now it's used to be analysed and pulled apart by Secondary School kids. Oh how tiring I find common literature

andy

Well it scared the crap out of me.Just kidding,but it was quite creepy.Love the way most people here seem to give either one star or five stars.I thought overall it was fairly a competent attempt at a difficult genre.Not in the same league as say something like The Others,but not bad.

Simon Currie

Cant quite fathom out which i hated the most, the most boring one paced (snails move quicker than this) film ever made, the ridiculous story line which basically told nothing, the lack of Woman in Black, even when you supposedly seen sightings of her the camera work was that poor you needed binoculars or rewind the movie to check what you had seen or was it Geppetto's son Daniel Radcliffe whose acting makes his other son the big P. seem lifelike and a real boy. He might have been able to stretch the imagination of young children and some strange adults in Potter but seriously was there no better actors for this? He is awful, awful, awful

frazer

This film was shocking the acting was dead. The story line boring. I want my money back.

the man on the track

Despite some preposterous melodrama moments and agree with the reviewer about the 'e by gummers'! I enjoyed this film. Excellent twist at end and some scary moments along the way. The rocking chair monent was far scarier in the theatre production mind..

tabbie

Thoes of you looking for what todays kids constitute as horror or if your la de da theatre student type that should realise that theatre productions are never going to be the same as the silver screen...! No,you wont like this film you will be looking for a reason not to like daniel radcliff. however if, on the other hand,you are looking for a brilliant,classic ghost story with a good twist,supported by a fine cast including a lead that has made a superb transition in his career(which many well known actors have been unable to do)then its for you. bloody good film,well done daniel ;) x

Thomas Noctor

Good old fashioned Ghost Story, worth a watch. Nothing amazing but better than The Ring or The Grudge. I wouldn't mind seeing the original.

Lauren

Well where do I begin, my partner hates horror films and even she thought it was tame. It was predictable, boring and unspectacular all the way through, deeply disappointing don't waste your money.

Catherine

Really enjoyed the film. Back to the traditional Hammer Horror films - without all the modern blood and guts - give me suspense with jumps anytime!!!!! Daniel Radcliffes performance was great - he's definately out-grown HP!

Catherine

Really enjoyed the film. Back to the traditional Hammer Horror films - without all the modern blood and guts - give me suspense with jumps anytime!!!!! Daniel Radcliffes performance was great - he's definately out-grown HP!

Helena

A truely chilling and creepy film, i loved the mystery and the plot! The women got me panicing and screaming in the cinema rather embarassingly though :L I dont care though because it was worth seeing, would recomend it to people who love psychological horrors ;)

Helena

A truely chilling and creepy film, i loved the mystery and the plot! The women got me panicing and screaming in the cinema rather embarassingly though :L I dont care though because it was worth seeing, would recomend it to people who love psychological horrors ;)

Tracey

Oh Dear, don't bother to make a special trip to see this one, definitely not worth it despite all the hype

Jane Perry

Oh dear!! it was dreadful. Weak, wooden acting and boring... The book is so much better and marks an imprint in your mind. The film has just totally ruined it now. Would have though much better for a british film.

holly

my mate went to see it everyone screemed lol she had nightmares im off to see it on wednesday with my sister :)

holly

my mate went to see it everyone screemed lol she had nightmares im off to see it on wednesday with my sister :)

Crispin S

I've seen the theatre production 3 times, I own a copy of the 1989 movie. Both very good! I waited 6 months for the release of this movie, booked tickets at The Electric cin in Notting Hill...I really, really wanted this movie to be good like the original - sorry it is utterly dire. The remoteness of the house and Victorian village are both not believeable, unrealistic with a computerised/ digital feeling about it. I still ocasionally watch the original (holding my wife's feet for comfort as she sleeps - scares me every time). I love the book, the theatre production and 1989 movie. The 2012 is a turkey... very cold...in fact frozen to the core.

Emily.B

I was really looking forward to this film, having so enjoyed the original story and stage play. Unfortunately, the world created for this tale didn't seem to have any 'life' to it. I couldn't find a single character to 'believe' in, or even the premise that any of them were Victorians. I didn't 'feel' that the house and island were real, or 'believe' in it's remoteness and isolation. In short, I found it impossible to achieve the 'suspension if disbelief' that one needs to truly engage with a story. So there unfolded a series of calculated events and plot developments, with a terribly unimaginative ending. The lights came up, and I walked home in the rain. Such a disappointment :-(

Kipper

Dreadfully dull and derivative. It all seems 'directed by numbers', with set pieces copied from superior films. Pulling *something* from a tar pit on a rope by a car? SIN CITY! Toys that come to life when there's a presence in the room? POLTEGIEST! etc, etc, And all reheated as a vehicle for Radcliff to pull his 'I think I've eaten some dodgy shelfish' face. Lazy ending; walking off into the ****** with the ****** like the film ******. 1star for the waistcoat and 1star for the pointy sideburns

vicky

this was chilling and spinecwralling, not recormended to kids, amazing film!

vicky

this was chilling and spinecwralling, not recormended to kids, amazing film!

good, but ban teenagers!

I was unfortunate enought o see this in a theatrefull of randy teenagers, who were too busy showing off and screaming/giggling/shouting to each other/phoning friends to bother watching the movie, and managed to thoroughly disrupt the performance, leaving me to have to walk out of the screening three times to alert Cineworld staff of what was going on. I missed ten minutes, and the self-conscious screaming of the teenagers completely ruined the suspense, especially as they were screaming randomly throughout. Had to go back and watch again! I liked it, it was suspenseful, Daniel Radcliffe was very very watchable/sympathetic in role, other actors all did great jobs. Only issue was the daft ending. Literally the last minute.

Numpty

Victorian Ghost Stories are psychological affairs that slowly gnaw away at your nerves until the final terrifying revelation. This was more like a tacky fairground ride that rattled along with set pieces jumping out and shouting 'BOO!' at regular intervals. The sets and costumes were good, and there were some passable performances (although Radcliff did struggle to carry the central roll). Derivative plot 'twists', plasticy CGI, and a dreadfully gutless 'feel-good' ending.. So disappointing I almost walked out.

Helen

Daniel's acting was not bad and he did the best he could with the script ... film not a patch on Susan Hill's book nor on the play .... story only loosely follows the book ... prefer the book/play :-(

GS

Reminded me of the old Hammer films. A few scary jumps but overall a pretty limp effort.

scrumpyjack

My word! Even the most ardent Radcliffe fan will HONESTLY defend this limp piece. I see a lot of good work here (not ALL ruined by Daniel....) so I won't do the "one star" thing...by a whisker! Will, I'm SURE, will rank in the years 10 worst...by Christ, I hope! 3/10

Victoria

I haven't read the book, or seen the play. I thought the movie was a little scary, though judging by the screams and twitching of everyone around me I wasn't getting the most out of it. This was a GHOST STORY, those expecting gory horror, go somewhere else. It is supposed to be creepy, and have you sleeping with the light on, not looking at your dinner feeling vaguely sick. For subtle horror, it almost succeeds. The film could have been so much better if the 'woman in black' didn't screech every single time she was on screen, or 'creepy noises' weren't overused every time something scary was supposed to be happening. Daniel Radcliffe did quite well with what he was given, although I alternated between mentally screaming 'run away you idiot' and 'alohamora' (unlocking spell for non HP people) when ever he tried to get in the locked room. Radcliffe does look young but he is 22 so he could have a 4 year old son, not that unbelievable. Overall, if you are easily spooked, and like a good scare, this is for you. If you are looking for in your face gore, don't want to be scared or are just difficult to shake, go see something else.

Ian

I was disappointed. The plot drags and the film doesn't seem to know what its aim is. It isn't scary enough to be a true horror film and the gothic almost cod League of Gentlemen "local" sub plot has been done better before. Ratcliffe doesn't look old enough or mature enough for the lead which doesn't help. Its a film that tries too hard and falls between two stools of the horror of the book and play and the faux Harry Potter style shocks. Could do much better.

ValChi

I was so disappointed in this film. I have such clear memories of enjoying the book and being scared witless by the play but this was comic book horror at its most predictable with none of the build up of tension and suspense I expected. Daniel Radcliffe's performance was mediocre to say the least, but maybe that was because he had so little to work with. verdict...Could do Much Better!