The Woman in Black has a lot riding on it. Not only does it look very “meh” it is also Daniel Radcliffe‘s first film since his eight film run with the Harry Potter series. Is it going to show that Radcliffe can be something other than Harry Potter? I honestly can’t look at him and not instantly think of Potter. That might be an issue. The one thing that The Woman in Black has going for itself though is the fact that people are going to want to see Radcliffe in his first film since HP.
Arthur Kipps (Daniel Radcliffe) is a lawyer who is in quite the predicament. Now only did his wife just pass away and gone on to a better place he is left with their young child. Being a single parent can be a lot of work, let alone being a busy lawyer. You are going to get sent places to visit clients or their belongings. That is exactly what happens with Kipps. He is getting sent to an estate to deal with the belongs of the late Jennet Humfrye (Liz White). Why he can’t just deal with it out of his office and instead he has to visit is because there is a hell of a lot of paperwork still left in the house. So off he goes.
It is not going to be as easy dealing with the house as he originally thought however. Once he had arrived to the village Kipps learns the history and horror that the house has endured. The owner of the house had had her son taken away from her by her own family. Unfortunately while he was in the care of his adopted parents he was killed, which then also led to his birth mother committing suicide. She is now believed to be seen walking throughout the estate.
If that isn’t bad or creepy enough she is also believed to take the loved ones of the people who provoke her. Loved ones as in their lovely youngest child. If you see her walking around the estate or you upset her in any way it was inevitable that your child was going to die very soon. The villagers know what happens when one digs into the history of that house and they don’t want anything dug up. Therefore they are on a mission to stop Kipps from continuing on to the estate because it is putting their families in danger.
For the most part Daniel Radcliffe is the only character that really matters in The Woman in Black. The only issue with his character is that he shouldn’t be the one who is playing it. When the movie first started and you learn that he has a kid and is grieving the loss of a spouse I instantly thought, “Man, he looks way to young to be playing this guy.” Don’t get me wrong he did what he could with his character. It just felt strange watching him play that character. Especially considering when I think of a lawyer with a kid I automatically think of someone who is no younger than mid to late thirties. The nice thing about his character though was that he wasn’t a pansy. He didn’t run away when shit got real. He didn’t go crazy or freak out at all. He lowered his head and got to work on figuring things out.
Of course Radcliffe wasn’t the only person in this film. You also have his on-screen wife, Sophie Stuckey. The person who probably has the second highest time on the screen behind Radcliffe is Ciarán Hinds, playing as Samuel Daily. Other than those few really, it is all about Radcliffe. I felt like director James Watkins did a pretty good job with the film. The pace that he took with the film was perfect. The way he set up everything to be creepy yet kept you wanting more was great.
Personally The Woman in Black had a lot going for itself. However the few things that I couldn’t get over ruined it for me. It did a nice job of building up the suspense of Kipps coming in contact with all the haunting spirits but the way it progressed from there was a little bit off. It goes from seeing all of the ghosts straight to knowing what to do to fix the situation he was in. That pissed me off a little bit. There was no time invested in figuring out how to fix the problem. It was just “boom” I know what to do.
Another issue that I had was that I couldn’t get passed Daniel Radcliffe as the young Harry Potter. I’m not even a huge fan of the Potter films yet that is all I saw when looking at his character. There were times I even thought in my head, pull out that want and blast those ghosts away Harry. I know lame but still. Also am I the only one that instantly thought back to Insidious when you first see The Woman in Black? That woman instantly made me think of the ghost who haunted the dad in Insidious.
The Woman in Black felt like it started out very well and then just went off the deep end towards the end. Once he suddenly figured out what to do to fix everything it just seemed rushed. Seeing that the film itself was only one hour and thirty-four minutes I think that they had plenty of time left to show or indulge us on how he came to that thought. Once the very end of the film came it also felt like they ran out of material to cover, yet they kept going. All in all they ruined everything that it had going for it by appearing to rush the last part of the film.
If you want to see Harry Potter, I mean Daniel Radcliffe, in something new check this film out when it drops into theaters. He did his best with what was given to him. However be aware that you might walk out of the film at the end and be disappointed. I know I was.
The Woman in Black – 6/10