The Woman in Black 2012 Movie Scene Daniel Radcliffe as Arthur Kipps holding a candle and an axe

The Woman in Black [2012]

Well if it isn’t old Harry, how are you doing chap? Just admit it, you will check this movie out because you wanna see Daniel Radcliffe as someone else and not Harry Potter. And after an hour and a half, you will say he is as good as he ever was (considering that this is his first film after Harry). Still, this is not a role that is that much different from the previous one We’re still in a strange and magical world, only much more serious and frightening. Besides him, Ciarán Hinds, in my opinion, stole the show. I have been following him since Rome and he hasn’t done a bad movie ever since.

So, The Woman in Black is an atmospheric period horror movie about an evil ghost terrorizing a small village in England. These poor people are either terrorized by werewolves, vampires, or ghosts, they just can’t catch a break. The opening scene is quite effective and it sets the stage perfectly for what’s about to come. The setting is half the movie here complete with the obligatory fog, mystical Gothic architecture, and humble peasant lodgings. This should not come as a surprise since the production company behind this movie is Hammer Film Productions.

Yes, the same Hammer Film Productions that ruled the world of horror during the fifties and sixties with their movies about Dracula, Frankenstein, and The Mummy. The Woman in Black is actually based on a novel by Susan Hill and directed by James Watkins (Eden Lake). And when you have players like this working together, you simply know that the end result is going to be excellent. Just nostalgic enough, visually impressive, and creepy, The Woman in Black is a horror movie worth watching. It’s continuing the revival of British horror movies which started in the early 2000s. 

Arthur Kipps is a young lawyer who is recovering from the death of his beautiful wife Stella. She died while giving birth to his son Joseph, and Arthur is having a hard time letting her go. His business leads him to a small village in the English countryside. All of the villagers are quite cold, secretive, and sometimes very rude to him with no apparent reason. As if they were keeping some secret. Finally, Arthur sees some unknown figure in black (approaching the altar of death \m/) inside the house and starts seeing the connection between the apparition in black and fearful villagers…

Despite its short running time (90 minutes), The Woman in Black develops its story slowly and meticulously. The atmosphere is creepy and there will be also a couple of effective jump scares. Since the house Arthur is staying in is situated on an island that loses connection to the mainland when the tide comes in, there’s also this sense of imprisonment. You have nowhere to run and the sounds and apparitions are getting closer and closer. The actual location of this winding road to the Eel Marsh House is The Causeway to Osea Island, Essex.

The Eel Marsh House itself is the Cotterstock Hall mansion located in Northamptonshire. Just in case you would want to visit these places. I know I kept thinking that after watching The Shining, another creepy horror movie. Speaking of which, I just remembered The Haunting, an almost-forgotten late-nineties movie featuring impressive visuals. Finally, if you’re looking for movies like The Woman in Black check out The Orphanage and The Devil’s Backbone

Director: James Watkins

Writers: Susan Hill, Jane Goldman

Cast: Daniel Radcliffe, Sophie Stuckey, Ciarán Hinds, Shaun Dooley, Alfie Field, Roger Allam

Fun Facts: Sam Daily’s (Ciarán Hinds) car is a Rolls Royce Silver Ghost, one of the most valuable cars in the world. During the production it was insured at $35 million.


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