Traveling to the movie theater this aftern0on I said to myself “Lancey” — that’s what I call myself – “if you’re going to jump ship the first time a rotten looking CGI ghost appears, then turn right around and don’t bother.” Guess what though? I didn’t have to worry, THE WOMAN IN BLACK is not as CGI-heavy as the commercials might have you believe. I’m thinking some of the TV spots have been tinkered with and exaggerated because on the big screen, everything looks mostly kosher and solid. In fact, this is a great looking film. Even if there was no story or sound, I could probably watch this thing as a slide show. It’s very Goth-centric and chilly with fog, rain and marshy mildew all over the place. In other words, this is that dusty-doily type of spook show that I love and am always in the mood for. As far as I’m concerned, the world can keep its torture and rape and I’ll take all the wind up monkeys that come to life for no reason.
This movie terrified me from the onset with the notion that DANIEL RADCLIFFE was old enough to be the father of a four year old. Wasn’t he a kid two days ago? Talk about chilling. I’m really getting old! I’m going to be dead soon! After drilling that horrific idea into my head, the movie shoved a funnel in the open wound and began to pour all of my favorite depressing things inside: death, loss, suicide, hangings, the idea that a person could be so destroyed by an event that they never recover or so trapped in the molasses of grief that they end up haunting themselves, etc. This is my jam and I’m doing the twist in my head and I’m doing that twist to early records by THE CURE.
I was very lucky that a gaggle of young girls who I suspect were RADCLIFFE fans sat a couple rows behind me. The only other people in the theater were an older couple to my right. The teenagers had a blast screaming at every loud noise or appearance of the title apparition. One of them was fake crying through the heavier scares. I kept thinking, “Thank God it’s not a group of boys behind me because they would have to prove how unscarable they are to each other and ruin the whole thing.” I’m not going to tell you anymore. It’s a movie about a guy and a ghost, a ghost who has a hard time forgiving. It takes place in a small town where only one person has a newfangled car. There are beautiful houses in it covered in vines and there are a couple scenes that are pretty flipping creepy.
If you are a fan of THE OTHERS or THE CHANGELING, you’ll probably like this. There are a couple of great moments that might remind you of THE INNOCENTS and a couple of weak spots that may remind you of hokier more modern fare like DARNESS FALLS. Those lesser moments are brief, so who cares! Sorry if this review is lame but I wanted to get it done quick so that if anyone was on the fence about seeing it, I could push him or her off and say, “Go ahead!” This review could also be lame because I am now having a beer and yes, definitely listening to THE CURE! (Not doing the twist though.)
P.S.: This movie was directed by the same guy (JAMES WATKINS) who did EDEN LAKE which I approve of. He also wrote THE DESCENT 2 which I didn’t care for but maybe the director of that one screwed it up. The screenplay was written by JANE GOLDMAN (KICK ASS) based on the novel by SUSAN HILL. There, now I feel better.