Director: James Watkins
Year Released: 2012
Running Time: 95mins
Genre: Horror, Drama, Thriller
After reading the book, I decided to give the 2012 The Woman in Black movie a try. The movie did not stay completely true to the book, however the changes made improved the process of the storyline and in some ways gave the audience a restful ending (or maybe just for me).
*I've also done a review on the book written by Susan Hill for anyone who is interested. I strongly suggest you read the book first before watching the movie.*
Unlike the book, the movie starts straight in the midst of the horror with the deaths of 3 children and the presence of the woman in black. The genre is set and the mystery begins.
Daniel Radcliffe portrays a convincing Arthur Kipps, characteristically. Thanks to Radcliffe’s previous movies (namely Harry Potter), appearance wise he looks too short to be a man and too young to have a child however as the movie progresses, his appearance is forgotten, replaced by his acting
There are some minor changes to the characters in the movie and some added surprises that, if you are the fan of the book, may or may not like. I personally thought the changes gave the movie more to play on and had to be done to make the movie longer and more visually interesting.
The biggest change is the existence of Arthur’s son. Arthur’s wife dies from childbirth and leaves him with their son. This happens at the start of the story and it is his son who propels the story further than the ending written in the book. (For those who haven't read the book, Arthur's son is not born until the end of the story).
In the book, Arthur lacks action and is left frightened; in the movie he attempts to solve the horror to save his son. To do this, the script writers included a thorough explanation of the woman’s history and existence and showed the consequences when one meddles with her.
I preferred the changes. The book was brief and did not have as much death as a horror reader would have liked. I also preferred the ending. The ending can be considered happy depending on how you look at it. There is proper finish to Arthur’s story. As for the woman, it can not be sure what truly happens to her.
The actors, houses, locations are all perfect for the era and Eel Marsh House looks exactly as described in the book. Even the marsh lands look perfect. The colour of the movie stays dimly light and foggy, blending into the costumes.
This horror film plays heavily on noise. Without the sudden knocking, whispering and scary music, this movie would not be a horror. The noises were perfectly timed and will definitely make the audience jump in their seats.
Just remember, if you are looking for something a bit more visually frightening you might want to skip this movie.
I spent most of the movie with my eyes under the pillow and hands clapped around my ears (I hate scary films). The reason I continued watching was to see why the woman did the things she did (even though I have read the book, the movie explained this more clearly with some extra touches) and how everything was resolved. I was much more satisfied with this altered story then the book.
As much as I enjoyed the book, I preferred the altered storyline of the movie. The storyline in the book was simpler and was perfect for a short novel. For a movie, the changes enhanced what the book already had and added more dimensions.
This movie is not for everyone. For anyone who likes the more mystery horror stories, I suggest you give it a try but if you are looking for something fast-paced with more gore, try something else (you will most likely find this movie boring).
Terri's Rating: 3.5/5
I do not like scary movies, so the rating is based predominately on the storyline and the cinematic effects.