Woman back in Black


By Candi Bolden

Daniel Radcliffe may not be Harry Potter anymore, but in the Woman in Black he must have used magic to create a horrifying film with a PG-13 rating. Despite the fact Woman in Black is a remake and its main character is a type-casted actor, it may be the standard for horror movies released in 2012.

The film takes place around 19th Century England. Widowed father and lawyer Arthur Kipps (Radcliffe) is trying to sell the house of an isolated, deceased widow. The house is the only mansion in this small town and is separated by a lake’s tide, making it impossible to leave the mansion during mid-morning hours and throughout the night. Then enters the Woman in Black, a mysterious entity attached to the house that also seems to be involved in the deaths of children.

The Woman in Black should receive applause alone for trying to create a horror movie lacking violent and gruesome scenes, a slightly romantic inclination, and an antagonist that actually tries to harm the main character. But the standing ovation goes to how they actually create the horror.

Using scary movies’ standard tease-and-reveal strategy for building up suspense, The Woman in Black succeeds because of it’s audio. Each horror scene uses some music but relies mainly on reproducing the real life sounds, then leaving the audience in the awkwardness of too much silence with the slight sound of something happening. The sound puts the audience in the room with Kipps.

The most frightening aspect of the film is the children and the toys. Any film using kids’ toys controlled by a demented force instantly has extreme horror capacity, and The Woman in Black reaches it by not overusing the toys. The fact that they are actual kids’ toys an audience member could have owned as a child and not a creepy version of a toy created for the film adds to the real-life effect.

Radcliffe’s acting guides the film and makes Kipps easy to identify with, despite the fact Kipps is unintentionally threatening the lives of half the people in the film. Showing Kipps as a slightly desperate man that tries to do the right thing, any problem with Kipps gains the viewer’s sympathy.

Like all great works, The Woman in Black has one fundamental drawback, and it appears in the plot. Throughout the film, there are mentions to seances and that seances should not happen because the dead should never be interfered with. After one last warning from an omnipotent towns person stating seances, if they work, could bring back people in horrid state, it is never mentioned again.

Overall, The Woman in Black is a movie worth seeing. It breaks the mold of average horror movies, and is unexpectedly terrifying. It’s a must see for anyone hoping to watch a true scary movie.