February 20, 2013 by Mithil
In order to save his only job, widower Arthur Kipps (Daniel Radcliffe) is sent to a village to audit the remains of a family. This job includes surveying a mansion house and it’s contents. However on arriving, he is asked to leave on immediate effect bearing some superstitions that villagers have. He can’t, because he will loose his job and wont be able to take care of his son. He decides to visit the house ignorant of horrific consequences. Here he meets the woman, the woman in black.
Yeah, it’s no different, been there seen that kind of story. It involves the same mystery situations, the same shocking revelations but no conventional ending. From the suggestive title one can make out half of the story, thus the movie falls into the bucket of predictability. But if only were movies were weighed by the stories they showed, we would be in a swamp of identically similar movies. What matters after the story is it’s treatment, helping us unfold the colours of the plot. This movie not only scores in jumping their audiences out of their seats but also showing some stunning visuals.
What I a m referring to is art direction. When the protagonist visits the mansion house, it carries a kind of eerie presence to it. The kind of detailing that goes in designing that house from interior is just plain astounding. The intermittent shots that shows puppets animated faces also brings out that strange feeling. The director has wisely used those shots to create the effects.
The movie is lacking in areas with a weak screenplay, but overall it grips you. I loved the fact that all the main characters in this movie had some past baggage, a history that directly connects with the plot. When I first saw the ending I was skeptic of it, but then I read about it and was thoroughly satiated. It is to know that the woman in black doesn’t win over Arthur, he denies her that right.
Performance wise Daniel Radcliffe is good but could be better. His portrayal of much older man than he is fails too convince me in some scenes. But his prowess as an actor is tremendous, I will be waiting for more. Ciarán Hinds as Daniels compatriot in the move is exceptional in some scenes. he sometimes takes hold of scenes from Radcliff and gives his own touch. Rest of the cast does well in their appropriate roles.
Give it a watch, you might be surprised with the kind of work being done. It’s horror to the core and gives back a lot what it promises.