Saturday, May 26, 2012

Saturday at the Movies #91 - The Woman in Black

I'd been waiting for a chance to see this one for a while, and when it showed up in On Demand exactly when the need for a movie hit, I took that as a sign. Adult Daniel Radcliffe in pre-WWI period dress, stuck in remote creepy (but breathtakingly gorgeous) house (that I would move into in a second, and since I don't have kids, the titular woman in black would have none to lure into her morbid clutches, so I think I would be reasonably safe, and my word, the atmosphere would be perfect for me) is enough to get me to see this, even though I'm not much for horror.

Let me correct that; I'm not much for gore. Horror, as in Edgar Allan Poe and Vincent Price and spooky 70s comics and Flowers in the Attic (book, not movie)is another matter, and I prefer psychological to supernatural, but that's another entry. The Woman in Black oozes atmosphere, and apart from one young girl who spews blood, it's not a gory movie. Creepy as all get out, though? Yeah. From the opening scene where three proper young Victorian(Edwardian? I'm foggy on the actual date of the story) girls stop playing with their porcelain dolls and, in unison, hop out the window (hint, they are not on the ground floor) we know we're in for some scares.

Though I haven't read the novel by Susan Hill, upon which this film is based, I like that the central horror is based on a local legend of a vengeful ghost, who has some serious "if mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy" issues, but what stuck with me most was the atmosphere. Being a romance writer, I'd have ended things differently, there would have been a romance between Daniel Radcliffe's character and the nursemaid. Though if one looks at the actual ending from a Victorian novel point of view, one could say that was a sort of a happily ever after, from a certain perspective.

I'm definitely going to have to watch this again to pay closer attention to the story, as I was too busy gawking at the gorgeous grungy splendor to catch everything, so this movie may get a second post. As luck would have it, Janet McTeer, who impressed me mightily in Albert Nobbs, hit it out of the park again here as a woman who warns our hero of the ghost's doings. Bonus points for using a pair of chiuahuas dressed in sailor suits for dramatic effect.

While researching for this entry, I read that The Woman in Black will be getting a sequel, entitled Angels of Death. No Daniel Radcliffe, though, as this is set a few decades later, but if the atmosphere is done as well, I'll be there, and I'm fairly certain Mr. Radcliffe will be on the screen again in something else.

What do you think, film fans? Did you see The Woman in Black? Do you think it needs a sequel? How did Daniel Radcliffe do in his first grownup movie?

1 comment:

Anna Carrasco Bowling said...
This comment has been removed by the author.