Thursday, 31 October 2013

Review : The Woman in Black


A young lawyer travels to a remote village, where he discovers the vengeful ghost of a scorned woman is terrorising the locals. This is indeed regarded as being the most terrifying and chilling ghost story of our time.

Hey Guys

Today on the blog, as you may of guessed I will be reviewing the 2012 film adaptation  of 'The Woman in Black' a story which was and still is incredibly successful as a popular play.

So is this film worth a watch? well let's find out.

So what amount of effort has gone into this film? what are the accuraces and differences it has in comparison to the play? how is the story interpreted in the viewers opinion, bad or good? Is there limitations to Daniel Radcliffe?

Well let's explore all of these with a bit more depth, what's in this film that is good.

  1. It's set in the Victorian Period. Like the Play.
  2. Does the story stay more or less the same? Yes.
  3. Is there attention to detail? Yes. And lots of it (particularly with costume)
  4. Is this film as spine chilling as the play? Good Heavens, Yes. It's jumpy moments are built up so well, the suspense nearly kills me.
  5. Is it well acted? - Yes, from all members of the cast.
  6. Is it well directed? - Yes and No. I'll go into more detail about that in a second.
  7. Are the choices of location, well chosen? - Yes, It's amazing how they managed to find a place which is spot on to the descriptions that are given in the play.
  8. Is there interaction throughout the audience? - Yes. In a good way, lots of screaming and 'oh my god' from groups of young teenagers.   

So that's the good bits of it. What about The Bad, or as I put it Not So Good.

  1.  The timing and the pacing of it, is all wrong.
  2.  The story isn't as well pieced together as it could be. It's a bit like a jigsaw puzzle.
  3.  The character and background of 'The Woman in Black' is incorrect if you compare her to the character in the play - In the film, she is made out to be evil and a garish haunting witch. In the play she's just a grieving lady who is still terrifying but so much to the exaggerated extent as the play makers her out to be.
  4. Daniel Radcliffe, was the wrong type of casting for Arther Kipps. I like Daniel Radcliffe he's an okish sort of actor, still learning, bless his heart but utterly the wrong sort of choice of casting for Arther Kipps. The guys too young, why not cast an older man like Christian Bale or John Hamm, males who look like a man. 
  5. This film doesn't do Daniel Radcliffe any favours considering that he's just come out of Harry Potter and more people remember him from that. Luckily when I saw this in the cinema no one shouted 'Use your wand Harry!'.
  6. This ending to this film is a bit of a let down, it's more of a clean sweep sort of ending. I prefer the ending to the play, myself. But that's just what I think.
  7. Certain lighting shots cause issues in building up tension or basic surrounding atmosphere.
  8. Not enough ground depth is made to the actual family who used to live in the house, all the years ago.

So you see my frustration. There's good things which do this film favours, and on the other totally bad choices made which let the production down.

As you may of noticed, a made a point in saying this film is and isn't directed to the best of it's abilities; well I'll go into more detail about that now. The Director of this film is 'James Watkins' who is a british director, writer and assistant director. He directed 'Eden Lake' back in 2008. I can't say I'm familiar with his directing techniques but I did sense a lack of graphic tension in scary scenes, moments where the suspense would just boar me and my sister to death.

In contrast to that, there are some scenes which are directed and shot quite magnificently, for example the scene on the train where Kipps meets Sam Daily. It's very dynamically shot to the extent where the focus is just on those two people.

So it's a shame how the more graphical intense scenes are a let down in terms of deliverance, yet little scenes are brilliantly shot and work really well.

But don't just take my word for it. See it for yourself. Here's a clip.

So for those of you who don't know what happens in this story, It's set in Victorian London, lawyer Arthur Kipps still grieves over the death of his beloved wife Stella on the delivery of their son Joseph, four years ago. Sympathising yet being firm, his boss gives him a last resort to keep his job, and he assigns him to travel to the remote little village of Cryphin Gifford in the heart of the british country, to examine the documentation of the Eel Marsh House that once belonged to the recently deceased Mrs Alice Drablow.

Arthur befriends a man of the estates Samuel Daily on the train and he offers a lift to him to the Gifford Arms inn. Arthur has a cold reception and the owner of the inn  who tells that he did not receive the request of reservation and there is no available room. The next morning, Arthur meets with the solicitor Jerome who advises him to return to London.

However, Knowing there is work to be done, Arthur goes to the isolated manor and soon he finds that Eel Marsh House is being haunted by the vengeful ghost of a mysterious and anonymous woman dressed in black. He also learns that the woman lost her son. He drowned in the marsh and she seeks a dark revenge, taking the children of the scared locals.

Now I'm that that twist was put in, to add a little change and give off a haunting feel to the film. But In retrospect for me, it wasn't needed. The story is very chilling in regards to it being performed as a play, now of course I wasn't expecting the play on film. Nobody was, but was I expecting full committed accuracy, yes I was.

Sadly it was to my disappointment, to say I didn't get that.

For me, I have to give this film 6/10.

Thank you for reading this review, I hope you enjoyed it.

Now I  must be signing off, for now.

NEXT TIME : I will review 'Philomena' starring Steve Coogan and Dame Judi Dench. I will review that film on Monday the 4th of November 2013.

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