‘The Woman In Black’-Cliched, obvious and loud (IANS Movie)February 17th, 2012 - 6:40 pm ICT by IANS
Film: “The Woman In Black”; Cast: Daniel Radcliffe, Janet McTeer and Ciarán Hinds; Director: James Watkins; Rating: ** 1/2
Horror films, unlike science fiction are not supposed to be confined by logic in their illogicality, and are easier to make. Have a spooky story, get some spooky location, have a ugly looking ghost, many creaky doors, loud eerie noises, wind blowing out candles foreshadowing the malevolent ghost and a character - preferably a dog - who can see the ghost like daylight while the audience can only have glimpses.
Sadly, exactly these cliches that make up the fabric of “The Woman In Black”.
A young barrister (Radcliffe), who had lost his wife during childbirth, is asked to go to a remote village to finish the paperwork for the sale of a house. He seems to be unwelcome in the village. And before he realizes there’s a creepy thing living in the house he is trying to sell, children start dying and he is blamed for this.
If you are the type of person who gets scared by the slightest noises, this is your film. It is so laden with every cliches of horror movie that you are in safe territory. But it is exactly the reason why the discerning viewer will dislike the film.
For the greatest strength of a horror film is its ability to surprise you, even if it is by a new twist to the same old trick. But if the scare-tricks have been used in the same manner over and over again previously, there isn’t much left to either surprise you, and since you know where the scare is coming from, to really scare you.
What you thus have is a run-of-the mill film which gets its scene and sound correct, but messes up everything else.
Thus the main problem of the film is that it has problems too many. It’s more like an ensemble of scenes that are meant to scare you and which come one after the other, at one point close to 15 minutes pass without a word being uttered on screen. The story is like the ghost in the film, somewhere there but not visible and which irritates more than it excites.
And everyone knows the reason why this film will attract global attention. Yet, Daniel Radcliffe fresh from playing a teenager in Harry Porter, tries unsuccessfully to both look like a 30 something man and one who is scared of the ghost. Obviously, now that he is all grown up and has to make his own choices, he needs to be careful about what he chooses to do.
Based on a book of the same name by Susan Hill, the story has been successfully adapted into almost every other format possible - stage play, radio and television. The film version could definitely have gone where others before have not.
Thus in the annals of scary cinema if you were to ask, “horror horror in the hall (of fame), who’s the scariest of them all,” be assured that even ‘The Men In Black’ will score over this lone woman.
- 'Woman in Black' trailer released - Apr 13, 2011
- Radcliffe's 'Woman In Black' to release in India Feb 10 - Jan 12, 2012
- Radcliffe wants to visit Indian ghost town (With Images) - Jan 26, 2012
- With 'Haunted', audiences queue up to get terrorised again - May 17, 2011
- 'Ragini MMS' - literal, cliched and boring (IANS Movie Review) - May 13, 2011
- 'Harry Potter' star Daniel Radcliffe's grown up role in 'Woman in Black' - Mar 10, 2011
- Britain complains most about 'The Woman In Black' - Jul 13, 2012
- Radcliffe's scary moment - Feb 18, 2012
- 'The Forest' terrorises despite the cliche (IANS MOvie Review) - May 11, 2012
- 'Ghost Rider - Spirit of Vengeance' a thrilling ride for youngsters (IANS Movie Review) - Feb 17, 2012
- Daniel Radcliffe to star in horror flick post Harry Potter - Aug 02, 2010
- Daniel Radcliffe can perform bizarre tongue tricks - Feb 16, 2012
- 'Mission Impossible 4' - thrilling action, disappointing cinema (IANS Movie Review - Rating: ** 1/2) - Dec 16, 2011
- Watkins proud of Radcliffe - Feb 09, 2012
- Vikram Bhatt: Not Scared Of Ghosts But Of Human Beings - Jan 31, 2011
Tags: childbirth, ciaran hinds, cliches, creepy thing, daniel radcliffe, director james, discerning viewer, eerie noises, glimpses, horror film, horror films, horror movie, james watkins, janet mcteer, messes, mill film, movie film, new twist, scare, spooky story