The Woman in Black / La dame en noir (Bilingue) [Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy] (Bilingual)
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Fans of classically structured haunted house/ghost stories will relish the skillfully unnerving chain of events in The Woman in Black, whether or not they're fans of Harry Potter. The good new is that Daniel Radcliffe leaves Harry behind for good in his first post-Potter role. Radcliffe plays Arthur Kipps, a young solicitor tasked with resolving the affairs of a recently deceased woman and her brooding estate in the gloom of the remote Victorian England-era village of Crythin Gifford. The mood is melancholic all around, starting with Kipps himself, who lost his wife to childbirth a few years earlier. His employer has had just about enough of his moping about and gives him the assignment as a last resort to save his job. When he arrives in the small village, the icy response he receives does not bode well for successful completion of his mission. All the townspeople want him gone, and possibly for good reason. Many of their children have died mysteriously gruesome deaths that they blame on the titular black-clad woman whose own child was tragically sucked to his death in the muck surrounding her seaside mansion. This new stranger who wants to unearth the deadly secrets trapped in the decrepit old house is a threat they cannot abide, and sure enough the deaths keep on coming as he delves deeper into the dark recesses of the house and the history of its ghostly occupant. There are scares aplenty in The Woman in Black, and they come from a genuineness that relies on creep-outs rather than gross-outs. Faces in windows, apparitions barely there, slow-building moodiness that suddenly erupts into a silent scream (or sometimes not so silent) make for an extremely effective and often terribly unnerving atmosphere of dread. The movie comes with several impressive pedigrees as well. It's based on a popular novel published in the early '80s, which was also adapted into a long-running hit play. The movie additionally resurrects the Hammer Films brand, an esteemed British production company that churned out moody and distinctive horror films and exploitive psycho-thrillers for decades in the mid 20th century. Indeed, the presence of Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee seems to lurk around every dusty, cobwebbed corner in The Woman in Black, right behind the slamming doors and only just glimpsed in the flickering candlelight. Radcliffe is perfect for the role of a heartbroken man whose rationality is stretched to the point of no return by the things he may or may not be seeing. Several strong supporting performances add to the gravitas, especially Ciarán Hinds as a kindred soul and father figure to Kipps, and perhaps the only other rational man in Crythin Gifford. But then rationality has almost nothing to do with the disquieting spirit of this authentically enigmatic, finely understated and efficiently chilling return to classic horror. --Ted FrySee all Product Description
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Our main character has a wife who has died in child birth and for some undisclosed reason this is his "last chance" with his firm so he just can't walk away. In the beginning, Radcliffe wears his hair down over his forehead leading me to suspect he really does have a permanent mark in the shape of a lightning bolt.
There is a mystery that is supposed to draw you in, but having seen so many clichés you wonder if this film will offer you anything new.
As the poorly developed Arthur (Daniel Radcliffe) sorts through the papers in the house he uncovers letters which sheds some light unto the situation, and we get to see his bolt free forehead. Radcliffe was neither an asset nor a liability. His agent did him well, but I thought he mustered more fear and terror as that Potter guy in the late sequels than he did in this film. He seems to have trouble with convincing facial expressions.
The strength of the film is in how well it utilizes all those haunted mansion clichés, the lighting...or lack of it, and the detailing of the era. Arthur is played as a rather dull character. There are things that happen to him which would have made me leap out of skin and run out the house, yet he does very little.Read more ›
Young lawyer Arthur Kipps (Daniel Radcliffe) has a life in tatters -- his career is in jeopardy, and he's still in mourning over the loss of his wife four years ago. He's sent to sort through the personal effects of Alice Drablow, who left behind a decayed mansion set in the misty marshes -- and when visiting the house, he sees a veiled woman in black.
The locals are also desperate to get rid of him, even blaming him for the death of a child who drank lye. And soon Kipps begins to understand why, as he unravels the secrets of the Drablow family, and the madwoman who lost her child long ago. With the help of his new friend Sam Daily (Ciarán Hinds), Kipps will set out to stop the Woman in Black before she claims what's dearest to him.
I haven't been too impressed with the output of the revitalized Hammer Films company. "The Woman in Black" is probably the best horror movie they've produced -- it feels like a modern version of their shadowy, gothic old movies. It's also not very scary, although director James Watkins tosses in a few jump scares (a raven, a faucet, etc).
Instead, the movie just makes you uneasy. We're constantly aware that SOMETHING is hovering over this town. But for most of the movie, we only see fleeting glimpses of the Woman and her power.
The biggest problem is that the movie moves rather slowly, especially in the first half.Read more ›
Daniel leaves Harry Potter far, far behind him, portraying Arthur Kipps, a young, Edwardian lawyer and widower with a 4-year-old son. Desperate to keep his job with the law firm, Kipps accepts the task of sorting out an estate in a remote English village only to find that the villagers do not want him there, and they certainly don't want him going anywhere near Eel Marsh House. He goes, and soon begins to regret his decision to do so. He spots 'The Woman in Black' on the isolated island and, each time he does, village children die.
Kipps becomes drawn into the mystery of Eel Marsh House and 'The Woman in Black' and sets about trying to solve it. He does... or, at least, he thinks he does. That's all I will tell you.
There is a sterling cast of characters in this film, but one character is missing from the credits: Eel Marsh House. Built on an outcropping in the middle of an enormous marsh, the abandoned mansion is accessible only by a causeway and only during low tide. When the tide rises, the house becomes completely isolated. Lit only by candles and lanterns, there are enough locked rooms and dark corners and strange shadows to keep you on your toes. The house seems almost alive and is as much a character in the story as any of the other characters.
You won't find any gruesome deaths in this film, but you'll find a horror mystery which will keep you intrigued and clutching the arms of your chair from the opening credits to the closing. If you enjoy typical Hammer-style horror, this film is for you.
Most recent customer reviews
This was one scary movie!!! It has that old classic horror movie feel. The old home, the creepy dolls and the superstitious townsfolk. Read morePublished 17 months ago by BLAK N BLU
I love this movie the first time I saw it and knew I had to have it. If you like gothic literature e.g Mary Shelly's Frankenstien, Dorian Grey, Dracula, M.R James short stories. Read morePublished 18 months ago by J. Jaros
Excellent English movie, nothing else to say. You have to watch it, keep it and watch it again!!Published 20 months ago by Fernando
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