As a ‘Harry Potter’ fan, I really looked forward to seeing Daniel Radcliffe’s first post-‘Potter’ role. After all, who doesn’t love a good, creepy horror movie? It’s a shame that ‘The Woman in Black’ turned out to be such a cheap-shot, lame ghost story. Sure, it will make you jump out of your seat plenty enough, but there’s more to a good scary movie than that.
The first 75 minutes of ‘The Woman in Black’ are purely setup for a thin climax. In all honesty, absolutely nothing is revealed about the haunted house plot until the 75-minute mark. We meet Radcliffe’s character, a young lawyer from London sent to a tiny village to sell an estate. We then meet a slew of shady people in the town who want him to go away and leave the old mansion alone. A ton of cheap jumps are drawn out by random and unexplained frightening events.
While visiting the property, Radcliffe sees a woman in black in the woods around the ocean-side house. Then kids start dying in town due to strange causes. One child drinks lye. Another lights herself on fire. These sort of unquestioned and unexplained events fill the majority of the movie. Not until the end do we find out what’s going on.
Just as we learn the town’s backstory, Radcliffe comes up with a quick solution that may or may not work. The whole film is setup for a very short and unsatisfying payoff. I wish I had more to say about ‘The Woman in Black’, but there’s really nothing to talk about. Just as you will, I forgot nearly everything about it just minutes after seeing it. The film is highly forgettable and completely unremarkable.