100 movies: The Woman in Black

100 movies of 2012

[yellow_box]Every year I set myself a target, usually of about 100, of films to watch. These are new films. Not new, new films. But films that are new to me. Any time I’ve seen a new one, I post a bit of a brain dump of my thoughts on the film here. Enjoy![/yellow_box]

The Woman in BlackThe Woman in Black (24/08/12)

A young lawyer travels to a remote village where he discovers the vengeful ghost of a scorned woman is terrorizing the locals.

I was very much looking forward to this film. For someone who doesn’t scare easy, I’m always looking for a good horror or ghost film that can successfully put a scare in me. The Woman in Black looked like it could do that. All I remember hearing about it, when it was out in cinemas, was how genuinely chilling it was.

On that front, it disappointed. Well, on a few other fronts, but mainly that one.

Where to start. The scares. This film had the makings to be a really chilling piece. It’s got the classic vengeful ghost. The period settings. Unwelcoming locals. Then add a fish out of water in Daniel Radcliffe’s Arthur Kipps. But it just came off as a little boring with some cheap scares.

Yes, I was bored. There were long moments without dialogue. Which, I presume, were there to build up the suspense in an upcoming scare. But those long build ups just sign posted the scare a little too much and made the build up a bit pointless. Sure, the scenes where the various dolls are all moving on their own in unison is down right creepy. (I’m glad I wasn’t a kid back then, those toys are not friendly looking!) But the scare that came after them was one used one too many times throughout the film.

Then you’ve got Daniel Radcliffe. Hot off the Harry Potter express. See, I never got into Harry Potter. The books or the films. I thought I’d give Daniel Radcliffe the benefit of the doubt for The Woman in Black and I think he did a fairly good job. But I couldn’t help but feel he was too young for the role. Or the character was too young. For the amount of heartbreak and grief his character was meant to have gone through and still reeling from. He just felt too young.

Aside from a few moments of boredom and some dodgy CG fog The Woman in Black isn’t a bad ghost/horror film. It’s just not up there with the likes of The Devil’s Backbone and The Orphanage. For me those are among my favourite ghost stories because they have a whole lot more than just the scares.
Rating: 3/5

Read on to see all the films watched this year…