The Woman in Black

The Woman in Black: whilst figuring out a reclusive widow’s estate, a young lawyer  awakens a nasty ghost that terrorises the local town. Everything is inherently creepy; it’s a timeframe that we associate with ghosts, the setting is the classic cut-off haunted house, crazy weather, and there’s just something uneasy about staring/possessed/haunted children. It’s well-ececuted with lots of suspense and randomly placed big/noisy jumps; nothing groundbreaking, but very effective. Despite being a tad young, Radcliffe – and his sideburns – do well given there’s a lot of non-speaking sections, and Hinds truly lights up the scenes he’s in. The woman herself is better when not seen, and after the dig-up, the film loses its old-skool fear as the ghost’s behaviour becomes more ‘modern horror’. Being a pansy, for a film rated 12A, this had me in knots all over the place with some truly unbearable moments – it’s definitely not for kids. All characters also suffer from classic horror tropes; why go chasing ghosts, why go back to the house, why dot the townspeople refuse to re-locate? But these are probably better unanswered. Like Hammer itself, The Woman in Black is it’s a classic genre picture, very british, and good to see back on the silver screen.

Score: 6.5/10


  1. Dan said:

    It is an effective film but I generally agree with your assessment. I agree that the unseen things work better in horror films than the explicit stuff.


    • Paragraph Film Reviews said:

      Towards the end when ‘the woman’ is swooping about, appearing right-left-and-centre and generally being a dick… just felt a little more ridiculous than the suspense brought around by not knowing that she just looked like an old lady at a funeral!


  2. I’m a pansy too and jumped when he turned the tap on near the beginning..!

    I was very impressed with what I saw through the holes in my cardigan :P


  3. Haven’t seen this yet but I’m excited to see Radcliffe in a horror movie. From your assessment, it looks like a movie better seen with the lights off… maybe by myself. =p


    • Paragraph Film Reviews said:

      I’d be tempted to wait until home release and see if it’s a 15-rated / directors cut version. The 12A in the uk meant that it was cut down a bit, although I’d have definitely freaked out if it was any scarier!


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