“The Woman in Black” – Review by Christian Becker

Is that Harry Potter in a horror movie? The answer is yes. Yes, someone has given Daniel Radcliffe the chance to prove himself as a film actor outside of the Harry Potter franchise. Yes, he has been in few other things over the years, but nothing as mainstream as this. Radcliffe makes a giant leap in the realm of acting here playing a recently widowed father of a young boy, and his law firm has sent him out of town to work on some paperwork at an old house with a supernatural history. Does the whole haunted house bit sound familiar? It should if you are into the whole horror genre, but as unoriginal as it may be, it is still a creepy good time.

The biggest question on the mind of anyone who knowingly watches a horror film is this: “Is it scary”? That’s the whole reason we go to horror films in the first place. Anyone who wants to see this wants to see it for the frightening and chilling moments that the trailer promises. Thankfully, this does have many chilling moments where I had to clench onto my seat because of pure heart racing adrenaline.  But, it was not like this the entire time. It was actually incredibly slow at the beginning, but thankfully picked up around the halfway point. Just know that it’s not going to get right into the exciting scares — it takes a little bit of time and patience. But when the scares hit, they hit hard.

If jump scares are the thing for you, then this is your horror movie heaven. Most of the scary moments in this movie are jump scares, which some would call cheap, but I would call effective. I can see how they could come off as cheap, because instead of taking the psychological, mind-bender approach, they’ve gone with the simple “fast reflection of the mirror” or “she’s right behind you” trick, which, like I said, ends up working really well because it gives you what you came for. The entire look of the film adds to the suspense as well. The color pallet is almost always this grayish color and the house is scary just looking at it. Any normal person would say to themselves, “Nope, I’m out of here.” just like that.

Daniel Radcliffe actually gives a decent performance in this. For the first fifteen minutes for so, I was only able to picture him as Harry Potter. It’s just so hard to see the same guy play the same character over and over again and then all of the sudden expect us to see him as someone else. Once I got into it, and the character had officially been established, I was able to move past the Harry Potter stuff and only see Radcliffe as this character. So bravo for him, because this would be hard on any actor trying to stay relevant.

The reasons for the haunting and the superstitions the towns people have are all about waiting for the reveal, so that it remains a big mystery for a good portion of the running time. I will say this, the ending could have used so work. I can’t tell you how many horror movie endings make or break the enjoyment level for everyone, and this is one that could go either way. Although, it does seem a bit underwhelming considering everything the characters went through, it is all for the viewer to decide and reflect.

The Woman In Black is a creepy little horror movie that will give you some jump-in- your-seat moments and a nice little story to hang onto. But, you won’t find anything special that other horror movies haven’t done before.

Grade: B

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