Woman In Black debuted in the UK on Friday, featuring Daniel Radcliffe in his first role since Harry Potter. The film has already been successful in the USA but will it do well here?
I had seen the trailer for Women In Black and although it didn’t reveal much, I thought that it seemed like an old horror story and I wanted to see how Daniel Radcliffe would cope in a very different role to Harry Potter. The film is based on a book by Susan Hill with the same name, and the screenplay is written by Jonathon Ross’s wife Jane Goldman.
The first thing I must say about the film is that although I thought it was very good, I don’t agree with the certification of 12A. Considering Dan is well known for Harry Potter, there are bound to be children who would be interested in seeing this film as he has a huge following. However, I do think that it has scenes, which would be very upsetting including a child throwing up blood, a girl pouring petrol over herself before burning alive, three children jumping through a window and of course the disturbing ending. The Woman In Black also is very creepy and I think that it would give children nightmares. It freaked me out and I love the Paranormal Activity trilogy, so I think it would be disturbing for a 12 year old.
The film begins with a scene where three children are playing with dolls and suddenly stop and stare before all walking towards the window and jumping out to cries of their mother below. We are then introduced to Arthur, who is a young widow with a son Joseph. His wife died during childbirth and since then he has struggled with work. He has one last chance to succeed with his job by sorting out paperwork for an estate. He travels to the village where he meets the unwelcoming neighbours and is begged to leave. He visits the house where he hears strange noises and when looking out in the garden he sees a Woman In Black. He visits the police station where a young girl and her two brothers walk in and explain to Arthur that the young girl has drunk poison. She dies in his arms. A Friendly neighbour takes Arthur in and explains his son died and his wife has funny turns in which she claims their son is taking over her body. Arthur visits the house again although the villagers try and stop him. Whilst he’s trying to do the work he hears strange noises and goes to investigate. These scenes are very jumpy and had you at the end of your seat. He sees dead children in the garden and also sees the Woman In Black again as well as a lady hanging from one of the bedrooms He also finds out that Alice’s sister Jennet was kept in the house and her son was taken off her who died tragically and didn’t even have a proper burial.
Completely freaked out he goes back to the village where there is a horrid fire happening. He rushes in to save the child but sees the woman in the black in the corner and the girl sets fire to herself. These are disturbing scenes and you realise that the woman in black must be the sister taking revenge for her own child being taken off her years ago. After hearing that his son could be next on her list, he returns to the house with new friend Sam and they find Jennet’s son’s body in the marsh. He tries to reunite the pair by burying him with her mother and they believe that the work is done. However she says ‘Never Forgive’ and when Arthur is reunited with his son, it leads to tragic circumstances at the end.
The film works well as it’s back to classic shocks and jumps rather than gore. The story is very disturbing and the woman is very eerie as you never see her face properly. Daniel did a brilliant job as the detective. He was very believable when he was terrified and I think this role showed he can do broad parts. I haven’t seen a film where they kill off the children with quite graphic scenes so it was certainly different. The ending was very annoying and kind of made you think what was the point as nothing was resolved and it was definitely a very freaky and sad ending. It left you with many questions unsolved and gave the villagers no hope really.
The film reminded me of The Others and the house was brilliant as a haunted house goes. So I would recommend going to see it if you love scary moments and a good story but don’t expect it to be tame and don’t take under 14’s.