The Woman in Black
Radcliffe plays Arthur Kipps, a young man who is mourning the death of
his bride in childbirth. As part of his job with a law form, he is sent
to a small English village to investigate the will of a recently
deceased woman. When he arrives, he gets a frosty reception from the
locals. The woman he is investigating, the ‘Woman in Black,’ is said to
still be roaming the grounds of her manor house. Anyone coming into
contact with her is thought to bring untold misery on the town.
of structure, the story is a basic one. It promises several different
subplots early on, but none of these are fully explored. It soon becomes
clear that their aren’t that many pieces to the puzzle that Radcliffe’s
character is trying to solve, but the film is going to tiptoe to each
one in its own good time.
number of scenes take place inside the house, with Daniel Radcliffe the
sole actor. This sets up a perpetually creepy atmosphere, even if much
of the movie is simply Radcliffe creeping down corridors, investigating
one scary noise after another.
Woman in Black doesn’t use anything new or radical to scare you; it
uses the same techniques that have worked for filmmakers for decades.
All throughout the feature, you’re constantly aware of the devices that
are being employed: The tight framing, the use of vertical lines, the
camera angles that never quite let you see into that dark corner. But
knowing doesn’t make them any less frightening, especially when they’re
executed this well.
scene is an opportunity for the filmmakers to scare you, and it’s an
opportunity they’ve seized on. You’ll know the next bang, or the next
ghostly face, is coming, but you won’t know when, or from where. Once it
gets going, the Woman in Black will rarely let you feel
palette is suitably sombre for a movie of this type, with lots of blues
and greys. There is a heavy use of fog, and an abundance of flickering
candles. The deep blacks really help build a scary atmosphere here. The
visuals are crisp, but they never reveal too much and spoil the
soundtrack is rich and diverse, and perfectly complements the visuals.
At any one moment you might hear ethereal voices, the distant neighing
of a horse, or the bangs and crashes that are par for the course in a
horror film. At times the soundtrack is a little too traditional;
the appearance of a ghostly face in the window is always accompanied by
a loud orchestral crash, for example, and it feels like you have to take
your cue to be frightened. It would be more chilling if you were to
slowly come around to noticing it yourself.
No Fear- Daniel Radcliffe as Arthur Kipps: The lead actor
and Director James Watkins speak about the central role.
Inside the perfect thriller- the making of: This is a
nicely in-depth documentary, and features comments from most of the key
actors and crew, as well as the author of the novel, Susan Hill.
graveyards, lanterns, creepy Victorian-era childrens’ toys, a mansion.
The Woman in Black has all the elements of a traditional horror
story, and it puts them to sublime use. This is a movie that sets out to
keep you on edge, consistently, for an hour and a half. And that it