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The Cinematic Katzenjammer: May 22: The Woman in Black


May 22: The Woman in Black

"A young lawyer travels to a remote village where he discovers the vengeful ghost of a scorned woman is terrorizing the locals."

The Woman in Black is a fine example of what is wrong with horror movies these days. With every single scare accentuated with loud noises and even louder music, the film tries way too hard to frighten you with pop-out scares than it does with genuine horror. It's a shame, because WIB has a great story, pretty good acting, and one hell of a setting. It's very frustrating when an incredible set, terrifying house, and one creepy location are completely misused. It's like if the hotel from The Shining was used as the setting for a Paranormal Activity movie. 

Wait, never mind. That would be bat shit mind f**k creepy as sin. 

The Woman in Black tells the story of a a young lawyer, Arthur Kipps (Harry Potter), who has to go to a little village to settle the accounts of the Drablow family at Eel Marsh Estate. It is there he discovers a woman who haunts the village, seeking revenge for her lost son who was taken away from her. It is said that whenever someone sees her, a child will die, as she takes away from others what she valued most. Kipps tries to uncover the mystery behind her death and reunite her with her son, but fixing a haunting is a lot harder than simply reversing an Avada Kedavra spell. And, although Daniel Radcliffe does a fairly good job in the role of Kipps, it is incredibly hard to see him as someone other than Harry Potter let alone a father of a four year old. 

After Voldemort, simple hauntings are mundane and trivial. 

The Woman in Black is a run-of-the-mill horror film that could have been much better than it is. I'm tired of watching a scary movie and only being startled, never genuinely afraid or uncomfortable. When a film is not confident in itself to be that kind of horror film and relies heavily on the jump out-pop-out-oh-shit moments, it tends to fail. I would recommend The Woman in Black for its setting and atmosphere alone. It's made very well (minus the scares) and the story is told well, with very little dialogue. It's a large leap from the Harry Potter films for Radcliffe and having his performance as the focus of the film shows he may have what it takes to be more than a boy wizard with a scar on his forehead.

The Good:
a very creepy setting that's captured beautifully with a camera
The Bad:
the film is very predictable and lacks any genuinely terrifying moments
The Ugly:
the use of music and sound effects to scare, rather than truly disturbing moments and completely abusing this tactic

Overall: 5.8/10


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