Watched February 3, 2012

The Woman in Black (2012): 2.5/5

The world is full of stark contrasts, and it seems that such contrasts have begun to enter the world of my “new to me” movie-watching. As you may have read, yesterday I watched one thriller that I enjoyed very much: Sorry, Wrong Number (1948). But alas, the whole day in film couldn’t go so well. I also ended up watching a thriller that I less-than-enjoyed, The Woman in Black.

Daniel Radcliffe stars in The Woman in Black, now in theatres. (via

The Woman in Black doesn’t lack merit completely. It is somewhat suspenseful, and managed to get a few jumps out of me — a girl who usually who very rarely reacts strongly to thrillers (aside from with laughs, when they’re cheesy thrillers). My sister, who is much less immune to horror films, found the level of suspense to be quite high.

The film is also beautiful in the visual sense. The set design, props, color scheme and lighting are all wonderful and work together well. The eerie little town and “haunted” house completely steal the show, and without them I’m not sure I would have enjoyed this film at all.

The positives end there for me, unfortunately. The acting was not very good (aside from Ciaran Hinds, who I’ve become a pretty big fan of after his heart-wrenching performance in The Debt). I’m not a Harry Potter fan so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from Daniel Radcliffe, and to be honest I don’t understand the hype over him. He didn’t impress me here.

The plot itself was also generally unsatisfying. Without getting too spoiler-y, the climax of the film’s plot was lackluster and brief. The first forty minutes or so of the film were just plain dull, and while the action picked up a bit at that point, the dullness returned by the end.

The result is a film even more dreary than the haunted little town in which it takes place.