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Review: The Woman in Black

Whether he likes it or not, Daniel Radcliffe could end up being one those actors that only known for one role. Obviously the Harry Potter series has done great things for him as far as finances are concerned, but I'm sure he wants to be remembered for more than that character and nobody could blame him. In his first outing post Harry Potter, Radcliffe is doing something different when he finds himself dealing with The Woman in Black.

Arthur Kipps (Daniel Radcliffe) is a widowed young lawyer who is sent to a village to help get a deceased person's affairs in order. Soon after arriving, Kipps learns that the deceased client's house may be haunted. Due to this discovery, he also comes to learn that the villagers are hiding a dark secret and that the small town is being terrorized by a ghost who's out for revenge.

The Woman in Black had the chance to be solid, but I don't think it reached its potential. There are some good elements, but there are also a good number of negative ones as well. It took forever to get into the actual story and that made me realize that this movie could have been made into something that lasted less than an hour if they wanted it to. It was a waste of time and I literally almost went to sleep early on. Movies this short should get right into the action almost immediately, but we have to watch Radcliffe walk around, see something "scary", read a little and then walk around some more before the film's plot gets going.

It does get better once that happens, but it never really takes off like it should. The ghosts are kind of creepy at first and The Woman in Black looks cool in most of the scenes that she's in. The ghosts and their on again off again appearances do help create the proper feel for the movie, but some of them are just cheesy looking. I would have liked it if they would have used more of The Woman in Black instead of the other ones. There were some jumpy moments that were good and even a few that were unique in some ways, but those were the only good moments when the ghosts were around since they didn't do much else through the whole movie.

I don't really like reviewing movies like The Woman in Black. In my reviews, I usually go into to detail about things in the movie without giving up spoilers. This movie was short and the story was fairly thin, so I didn't really have much to work with. The other problem is that some of the things that I want to criticize would give away too much of the story if I spoke about them extensively. This is probably a horror film that's geared for teenagers, so I can't ride to hard on it from that perspective and they might like it more than I did.

There was one big plot twist near the end of the movie that stuck out to me for the lack of thought put into it, but I can't mention it since I don't want to give away too much of what happens. It was dumb and it eventually amounted to nothing. Based on the actual ending, you can say that almost all of the movie amounted to nothing.

The acting was relatively solid and I give the actors some credit for that. I do believe that they could have done much more with a substantially better script and it would have made for a much better viewing experience overall. I could see myself watching The Woman in Black again if I avoid the early parts and skip the ending, but that's about it. Hopefully we'll see better selections from Radcliffe in the future. If we don't, his post Harry Potter career might not be too successful.

Score: 2/5

Rating: PG-13

Director: James Watkins

Daniel Radcliffe
CiarĂ¡n Hinds
Janet McTeer
Shaun Dooley
David Burke
Liz White

Film Length: 95 minutes

Release Date: February 3, 2012

Distributor: CBS Films

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