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The Woman In Black

Released on 18 June 2012

Featuring: Daniel Radcliffe, Sophie Stuckey & Harmon Molly

Format: DVD | Rating: 12 years & over

4.0 out of 5 (12 customer reviews) | Write a review

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Based on the classic ghost story, The Woman In Black tells the tale of Arthur Kipps (Daniel Radcliffe), a lawyer who is forced to leave his young son and travel to a remote village to attend to the affairs of the recently deceased owner of Eel Marsh House.

Working alone in the old mansion, Kipps begins to uncover the town's tragic and tortured secrets and his fears escalate when he discovers that local children have been disappearing under mysterious circumstances. When those closest to him become threatened by the vengeful woman in black, Kipps must find a way to break the cycle of terror.
  • Artwork subject to change

customer Reviews

 Average rating (12 reviews)

 Beware her Legend.................

| | See all Kevin1075's reviews (754)

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It's not that I didn't enjoy this film - but this is not really a faithful adaption of the original Susan Hill ghost story. It's really more of an adaption of the source and makes several changes that I have to say I don't think improved things.

The main one being the markedly different backstory and arc in the film given to the main character Arthur Kipps (Daniel Radcliffe) as he travels to remote England to deal with the affairs of the late Mrs Drablow of Eel Marsh House. Soon realising however, that within the dark and old house, lie more than a few secrets from the past................and just who is that mysterious black clothed figure he keeps seeing out the corners of his eye? It is so completely different that I can only imagine either screenwriter Jane Goldman simply didn't understand the source material or all she could think of to update it was to essentially make it a derivative version of things we've seen before many times.

Essentially headlining his first film outside Harry Potter, Daniel Radcliffe is OK but plays everything a little one note as well.

However, this is not to say the film is without is moments. Broadly speaking it has plenty of old fashioned atmosphere, even if it does rely on too many jump scares in it's first half and the main night of Arthur's terror in Eel Marsh House is a very well constructed and quite genuinely spine-tingling excercise is tension and scares and forms the centrepiece of the scares of the film and so do a few other moments along the way.

And in terms of the broader changes made to the story then the 'new' ending does work. It just didn't work for me personally because I felt the changes made by screenwriter Jane Goldman simply were not good enough or even needed in the first place, which renders this film merely average for the genre.

 An Excellent Ghost Story

| | See all DigitalCritic's reviews (18)

As with all films of this genre, the scare effect is greatest the first time you see it. While this is still the case for The Woman in Black, I have to admit that it does possess an eerie and creepy quality that continues to linger on subsequent viewings.

Daniel Radcliffe and Ciaran Hinds both give commanding performances and commit to their roles in this adaptation of Susan Hills 1983 novel of the same name. Radcliffe plays Arthur Kipps, a young Victorian-era lawyer with a small child. The passing of his Wife in childbirth four years earlier has left Kipps haunted with sorrow and unable to execute his duties to his employers satisfaction. On a last chance job, he is sent from London to settle the estate affairs of a deceased client. The old house is set in the English countryside on the outskirts of a small village and the townsfolk are typically superstitious and unwelcoming. However they have good reason, the village children have been dying at an alarming rate and a mysterious black figure has been seen in the grounds of the old house.

Hinds plays Sam Daily, one of the less superstitious neighbours in the village. He and Kipps strike up a friendship on the train journey in and he tries to help Kipps in solving the mystery. Daily and his wife, played by Janet McTeer, have also lost a son of their own under rather strange circumstances. The Childs death has left Daily heart-broken and his Wife suffering with a mental illness.

There are some of the usual scare tactics in this film but they are done really well while some very clever new one crop up here and there. There are numerous scenes where I felt chills running down my spine. The whole film is very dark and adds to the creepy feel and impending nightmare that approaches. I found the film enjoyably scary throughout. Please remember that this was adapted from a novel, and what works well in a book does not always work well on screen, so if you have read the book, be prepared for some changes.

Because of his past acting history in the most successful film franchise ever, it will be hard for most viewers not to see Daniel Radcliff as Harry Potter. I admit to feeling the same when he is on screen but after ten or twenty minutes you soon forget his previous role and the character he is really portraying emerges. A few more decent films and I think the shadow of Potter will fade.

Being a new film the image is sharp and without blemish, the sound is presented in 5.1 DTS and standard Stereo. The film runs for ninety five minutes and if you enjoy clever ghost stories like The Ring, then you will enjoy this.

Highly recommended for a good fright.

 Worth spending the pennies on :)

| | See all lizzii's reviews (4)

Not sure whether one particular reviewer was watching the same film as me because this was brilliant!

Have to admit watching Daniel Radcliffe play a character with a 3-4 year old child feels incredibly odd seeing as he looks about 20, which I was quite sceptical about to start. I felt they'd completely miscast the main character.

However, Daniel actually does a fine job and you put aside the fact he doesn't look old enough to have a child that age. His performance is really very good and very believable.

This is a great thriller flick. There are a lot of moments of suspense, hiding behind sleeves and bits that make you jump. There were so many screaming girls in the cinema when I went to see this (think they just went for Radders).

It's also very dark which I liked and mysterious - it follows a similar storyline of films such as Sleepy Hollow and the Wicker Man where the protagonist is visiting a strange and unsettling town where nothing is quite as it seems and all the town folk are hiding a secret.

It's Daniel's character's job to find out what, and of course along the way there are a lot of scary sequences and 'no why would you do that, you just wouldn't do that!!' moments.

This is a film that both younger and older people will like, as it's dark but not ridiculously scary and is gothic rather than a horror.

The best bit about it is knowing you're going to see the woman in black at some point but not knowing when and knowing she's probably going to make you jump!!

 Woman in Black, genuinely spooky

| | See all filmcritic1952's reviews (36)

This is a good old fashioned spooky film with excellent photography and lighting with exceptional timing. It does hold you throughout and the crescendo at the end is a little predictable but still gripping, however the actual conclusion is not in keeping with the darkness of the rest of the film and I found that a little pathetic. If you like soft horror instead of bloody terror then watch this film, it will get to those hairs on the back of your neck.

 Very Good Modern Day Horror

| | See all MattyAllen's reviews (9)

Brilliant film, good to see Hammer Horror is on form since its relaunch. Really good story line from start to finish with a few scenes that will make you jump. Very good ending and could be left open to a sequel or left to your own imgagination. This will be a film I can see watching a few times over.

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ActorsDaniel Radcliffe, Sophie Stuckey, Harmon Molly, Emma Shorey, Misha Handley, Jessica Raine, Roger Allam, Lucy May Barker, Indira Ainger, Andy Robb, Ciarán Hinds, Shaun Dooley, Mary Stockley, Alexia Osborne & Alfie Field
DirectorJames Watkins
Certificate12 years and over
LanguagesEnglish - Dolby Digital (5.1)
RegionRegion 2 - Will only play on European Region 2 or multi-region DVD players.