Rajeev Masand – movies that matter : from bollywood, hollywood and everywhere else

February 17, 2012

The chill factor

Filed under: Their Films — Rajeev @ 10:32 pm

February 17, 2012

Cast: Daniel Radcliffe, Ciaran Hinds, Janet McTeer, Liz White

Director: James Watkins

A pleasant change from the blood-and-guts staple of modern slasher films, The Woman in Black is a throwback to those good old-fashioned horror movies that relied on eeriness rather than gore to deliver the scares.

In his first role since the Harry Potter movies Daniel Radcliffe stars as Arthur Kipps, a sad-faced lawyer in Victorian England, still grieving for his wife who died four years ago. With a young son to raise, and the fear of losing his job looming over his head, Kipps sets off to a remote village in the countryside for an assignment that involves sorting out the estate of a recently deceased woman. Once there, rummaging through her papers in her isolated mansion, he begins to sense the presence of an otherworldly spirit.

From creaking staircases and haunted attics, to mirrors with ghostly reflections, and ominous music cues, The Woman in Black packs all the traditional tropes that make for a familiar yet entertaining affair. Brace yourself for sudden shocks as doors slam shut on their own, an empty rocking chair tips furiously back and forth, and pale faces of dead children appear mysteriously on a windowpane.

None of this is new, but it works because it’s done so well. Doused in a pervasive mood of gloominess, the film is beautifully shot and the set design is impeccable. It also helps that Radcliffe is a solid actor who plays an adult quite convincingly; he makes Kipps a character that you care about.

I’m going with three out of five for The Woman in Black; it’s surprisingly good fun. Just make sure you stick your popcorn in the holder on your armrest – you don’t want to spill it all over yourself each time you jump in your seat.

(This review first aired on CNN-IBN)


  1. This is a film which has got some seriously chilling moments…
    The island on which the set is installed itself looks too scary. The set is so impressively constructed that you cannot take your eyes off it…
    A true Horror movie. If you love chills and thrills this is for you… Go n watch it.

    Comment by Akhilesh Tekade — February 18, 2012 @ 9:17 am

  2. Wonder why it was given “A” rating by the censor board .

    Comment by Aditya — February 19, 2012 @ 5:31 pm

  3. i thought the movie was too boring!!!!

    Comment by Jackass — February 20, 2012 @ 10:48 am

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