Movie Review: The Woman in Black

“I will never forgive.”

 –  Jennet Humfrye, The Woman in Black

 

I admit it! Yes, I only watched this movie because I wanted to see Daniel Radcliffe “Expecto Patronum” some evil spirits. Don’t hurt me!

Sorry, but lately when I’ve been mentioning this movie to people, or telling them I’ve seen it, they usually reply with, “I bet you only watched it because the guy who played Harry Potter is in it.”

You got me. Congrats.

But if you are one of those people, stay tuned. Because I’m here to tell everyone that not only is this movie very good, but it’s very good for reasons besides its actors (who, by the way, were excellent).

 I’ll start off by saying if you haven’t seen this movie, I strongly recommend not reading any plot summaries beforehand (and don’t worry, this review doesn’t have spoilers). The simple yet tightly wound storyline is what powers the movie, giving it the power to latch on to your mind and keep you asking the same question over and over again:

“How the Fawkes are they going to explain everything that’s going on right now?”

Be patient, my viewing friends. Because they do explain, and while it’s the kind of twist we think we should’ve been expecting, we realize we actually weren’t.

Let me back up. The setup: Arthur Kipps, played by an all-grown-up Daniel Radcliffe, is a lawyer whose wife died four years ago giving birth to their son. It’s his job to visit a property at the edge of a small British town and sort through the legal paperwork of the house, since its owner—a woman named Mrs. Drablow—recently died. But the townspeople are secretive in their interactions with him, especially on the subject of why most of the town’s children have died in accidents over the years.

So as I said, what really holds our attention is the mystery behind the plot. The movie’s pacing is strange, but works to its fullest advantage: the first forty minutes or so are all backstory of the town and house, but with plenty of jumpy little scares along the way. The next half hour is devoted to Arthur’s journey through the house, which had me on the edge of my seat for the entire time. Then, the twist and climax, which both are within twenty minutes of each other. Then everything closes with one final twist on the ending, and on a surprisingly gentle note, the film wraps up at just under an hour and a half.

There are only a handful of characters that play out the story, but each of them is powered by a strong actor who brings them to life. Most of the characters are quite likable, something I found unusual for a paranormal suspense movie, and the story treats them in just the right way.

I promise I’m trying to incorporate dislikes into my reviews, but unfortunately I can’t think of many for this movie. It’s free of gore and (mostly) blood, rounding it out as a psychological scare rather than a cheap one full of people getting ripped in half. The acting is superb. And the story itself never misses a beat, spoon-feeding us the answers we’re craving. I suppose my biggest complaint is the fact that I was able to watch it without any nightmares.

So, in conclusion: this movie is unique because it’s a suspense/thriller suitable for those who hate suspense thrillers as well as gore violence. If you’re looking for a short, frightening but not-too-disturbing scary flick that has quality actors and an intelligent plot, pick this one for Halloween.

Of course, tonight is Halloween, so you can’t really do that. But mark it on your calendars for next year, at least.

Rate: 9 out of 10.

 

On a slightly related note, as one of my friends pointed out, today is also the anniversary of James and Lily Potters’ deaths. Yeah, “Happy Halloween”…enjoy the candy, sickos.

Hurricanes and Halloween

“I got a rock.”

 –  Charlie Brown

 

First of all, no, I haven’t dropped off the face of the planet. I can see why you might think so, between my week-and-a-half absence as well as our good friend Sandy slapping the stuffing out of the east coast, but I can assure you I’m perfectly fine and haven’t suffered any injuries other than death by homework.

I realize that going more than a week without posting is normal for some blogs, but I hate being inconsistent and will try to keep my future dry spells under four days. Underscore on ‘try’ and attachment of apologies.

So, then. My first topic…Hurricane Sandy.

First of all, I hope everyone stayed reasonably safe and their possessions/dwellings are relatively intact. I should say upfront that no matter what your situation is, you automatically have the right to complain about it to me. Because I myself didn’t lose power at all, had no trees or damage whatsoever in our yard, and my evening was spent watching The Avengers on our big-screen projector while writing and sipping hot chocolate. So you could say I have very little room to whine.

There were several things about Sandy I found interesting before the storm even hit. The fact that it had not one, two but at least three Twitter accounts was a bit strange, especially to someone like me who doesn’t have Twitter and thus missed the coveted privilege of Retweeting the storm’s updates such as “I’m comin, fools!”

Probably the most notable thing about this whole event was the unending supply of ridiculous names the media whipped up for this storm. ‘Sandy’ itself isn’t a particularly intimidating name by any stretch, and ‘Hurricane Sandy’ almost sounds like it should be the main character of a children’s book detailing how hurricanes form.

And ‘Frankenstorm’ is just stupid.

I apologize to whoever the first person was to coin that term, but couldn’t you have been a *smidge* more original? We understand the humor. This storm is the mixing of two smaller storms. So it’s a new creation, like Frankenstein. And it’s close to Halloween. Tee hee.

Well, let me switch off my cynical side for now and move on to Halloween.

It’s sad, because this is my last Halloween as a kid. Next year I’ll be a legal adult, which is scary, and somehow I don’t think there’s trick-or-treating in college. So this year I hoped to go trick-or-treating—yes, I was prepared to do that—but due to the storm and the business of my friends I’m not sure I’ll be able to. Nonetheless, I helped decorate my house and went to several Halloween parties dressed as Joe Lamb, the main character of Super 8 (which meant dark jeans and a green button-up similar to the one he wore for the first ten minutes or so of the movie).

In addition, I passed the time yesterday afternoon by carving a pumpkin. Luckily I found an Iron Man template online, but I’m still not sure how well it worked.

 

So yeah, I’m hoping my last Halloween will be fun and not too affected by the storm’s damage. I’ll probably sit at home, watching Criminal Minds after finishing homework. I’ll also gorge myself on sweets like most days of the year, except this time I won’t feel too bad about it.

I’ll also write a review of the movie Woman in Black, which I’ll post on here tomorrow night. So in the meantime, Happy Halloween. Don’t be afraid to be six years old again…acting your age on days like this is overrated in my opinion.