Film Review: The Woman in Black

Poster for The Woman in Black (2012). Source.
My husband and I went to see The Woman in Black a couple weeks ago. We were both disappointed by The Vow on Valentine's Day, but this one seemed pretty good.

I have to say that it was a little weird at first to see Daniel Radcliffe playing someone other than Harry Potter, and a widowed father to boot. But the movie immediately launches you into creepy territory in the very first scene. Three little girls are playing with dolls in their attic bedroom. Suddenly they all turn as one and stare straight into the camera, then walk over their dolls (breaking them in the process) and step out the window. In the far right corner of the screen, you can see a woman's head swathed in a black hat and veil.

The Woman in Black is a classic Victorian ghost story, complete with cobwebby Gothic mansion, although it's based on a novel by Susan Hill first published in 1983. Later I realized it reminds me a lot of Henry James' The Turn of the Screw, which I am unable to enjoy due to my high school English teacher's unnatural obsession with the word "ambiguity."

I should confess that I scare easily. I spent most of the movie clinging to my husband's arm and cringing, while he spent most of the movie laughing at me. Still, I think I'm right to compliment the film's creators for their selection of particularly horrific Victorian toys.

After the showing we went straight to the Barnes and Noble across the street and bought the novel. It's in my to be read pile so I can't comment on it, but I recommend going to the movie if you can. It's a good old-fashioned horror story that made me keep a light on for several nights!

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