A horror film set in late 19th century England about a young lawyer, Arthur Kipps, who comes to a remote village to settle a dead woman’s affairs only to discover the ghost of a scorned woman who is seeking vengeance on those who took her son from her years before.
I only got round to watching this movie back in late April. I don’t know why I never really wanted to watch it – but it was one of the films I brought in my massive DVD buying spree.
When I watched this movie, I instantly thought that it reminded me of the flash horror games, House and House 2. A similar premise, etc. But cinematically it reminds me of The Awakening in its general era (give or take 10 years) and Mama in its storyline. Right from the moment the three girls jumped out the window together (crushing the toys – I winced.) I was hooked on this movie.
It was good to see Radcliffe handling a serious role and he filled it well. The onscreen chemistry between him and the boy playing his son Joseph (the boy is his real-life godson, I believe.) made it more real because as an audience we could empathize with Arthur’s ever-present grief and the love he has for his son. Secretly you want the pair to walk away from it happy in the end. Some people have attacked this film rather negatively mostly because it seems to be all about Radcliffe going around a house, opening doors and tearing off wallpaper. That is how I spend my Saturday nights. Anyway.
Its more than that, though. There aren’t any dramatic deaths involving masses of blood but the film trades in its gore for its chills. Those original 19th century toys were rather creepy that they used. As I said earlier, the whole idea of a vengeful ghost seeking vengeance for a lost child is similar in premise to the de Toro movie, Mama. The Woman seems to handle it better, and the ending is left open for the possibility of the return of The Woman In Black. It was good that they killed Kipps off. It makes him more real, even if his characterization was a bit one-sided as he went from room to room uncovering the secrets of the Woman in Black. I’ve got a bit bored of characters who survive as if they cannot be killed just because they are the Hero and of course they must live because it fits with Movie Logic. You knew from the start that being reunited with his dead wife again was where he had always wanted to be.
All in all, I really enjoyed it and I’m not a big fan of horror films. Daniel Radcliffe did well and showed that even if his character was a one-note role, that note was deep and resonating all the same. This film is definitely on my Top 10.
MY RATING: 5 / 5.