Within the last 10 years or so, horror movies have been making a comeback. Movies like “The Others,” “The Orphanage” and “Paranormal Activity” have all showed audiences it’s not about makeup and gore but about setting and mood.
It’s a formula Hitchcock took to heart, and “Jaws” forever cemented. And at the beginning of 2012, “The Woman in Black” seeks to continue the trend.
Importance of tone
The movie takes places in an English village that has a horrid past and where lawyer Arthur Kipps (Daniel Radcliffe) sets up shop for a few days.
The secret, as is in all ghost stories, is a house that, beyond any doubt, is haunted. And the crew behind this movie wants you to know that and not just when there’s a ghost on screen.
As said before, the movie continues the current trend of horror movies that focus on setting and tone. The house where the activity takes place is absolutely gorgeous in its crappiness. It’s dusty, creaky, dark and full of history that Kipps slowly uncovers. It’s a character in and of itself.
And it’s fitting as this is a true ghost story. Now, that means character isn’t in deep supply—not that they are bad or the actors portraying them. It’s just they don’t have a lot of weight in them.
That being said, though, the movie is designed to tell a creepy, lingering ghost story. The film succeeds, but only so.
It does the job, but nothing more. It’s creepy with scary moments, but not terribly haunting. It could’ve been a lot more.
But on the whole, the movie is scary enough to make you unsettled with characters that could’ve been more but get the job done. “The Woman in Black” leaves me with hope that studios don’t continue to make remakes of unscary, slasher porn. Life is good.