“Due to my juvenile wimpishness when it comes to horror, I would have been quite glad if The Woman in Black failed to deliver on it’s potential. I wasn’t so fortunate.”

The Woman in Black Review
By Ryan Casey

Thanks to Hammer, the resurgent masters of horror, The Woman in Black, previously a terrifying theatre production receives the silver screen treatment. This movie certainly seemed to offer a psychological scare fest that would no doubt effect me with a nervous disposition for weeks. Due to my juvenile wimpishness when it comes to horror, I would have been quite glad if The Woman in Black failed to deliver on it’s potential. I wasn’t so fortunate.

Set in Victorian times Arthur Kipps (Daniel Radcliffe) is a young lawyer bereft with grief after the death of his wife. He is given one last opportunity to save his job and is assigned the task of sorting through the documents of a unoccupied manor house on an isolated tidal island in northern rural England. His arrival disturbs an evil spirit that dwells in the house and soon enough Kipps finds himself in a personal battle, not only to complete the task he has been set, but to defeat the vengeful Woman in Black who haunts his every move.

The Woman in Black is simply terrifying. Granted I made the decision to watch the film at night on my own in an empty house which obviously didn’t help. Nevertheless the film is very well constructed always building tension to the point where it’s almost unbearable because the next ‘cack yourself moment’ is always ready to jump out and get you. The combination of the films harrowing music score and grimy visuals ensure Hammer’s latest offering is a must for any horror fanatic.

Aside from the movies excellently crafted horror set-pieces much can be taken from the performances in Woman in Black, especially Daniel Radcliffe as Arthur Kipps and Ciaran Hinds who plays Kipps’s friend Daily. At first it was difficult to adjust to Radcliffe not donning his specs, waving a wand, and yelling ‘Expecto Petronum’, but once you get over this, you appreciate how much he has grown as an actor, as he delivers a mature performance of undoubted quality that I’m sure will help him land more high-profile Hollywood roles in the future.

The Woman in Black is a proper horror movie, it steers well clear of being a shocking, in-your-face gore fest, and instead offers a psychological horror that is brimming with tension throughout. Lingering shots will have you digging your nails into the arm-rest, waiting for a scare that never comes and then just when the film has you feeling a false sense of security something horrific will catch you completely of guard.

Without question one of the scariest films I’ve seen in a long time. The Woman in Blackis a very well constructed film with a believable story told through excellent performances, not to mention the Woman in Black herself is one seriously nasty bitch.