Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Month of Horror Day 23: The Woman in Black

Basement contributor Matt Bellamy has taken it upon himself to watch and review at least one horror movie a day for the month of October . . . because he's awesome that way! Bellamy goes old school for tonight's creepy feature. Yup, old school.

Hey, you try coming up with something clever to say every night of the week. I double-dog dare you. 

Sure is nice to see the 'Hammer' logo in front of a horror movie again, they have been absent from the film scene for far too long and were once a staple of the industry, and now they are back! In a much smaller capacity today but still, it's something. I wasn't exactly crazy for this movie, it has its moments but it feels like far too much style over substance. I will say that the style is very striking though, the scenery and cinematography is top notch and it's obvious that the production values are very high here, it's just too bad more attention wasn't paid to the script.

My main issue with 'The Woman In Black' is something uber-fans of 'Harry Potter' may be offended by, and that would be Daniel Radcliffe. I liked him quite a bit in the world of Hogwarts but here he just seems far too young for the character he is playing and I couldn't help but feel he was constantly out of his element. I didn't buy that he was this stuffy, widowed father and lawyer, it didn't fit and that's a problem when that character is on screen in nearly every frame. His reactions to the spooky goings-on also felt unrealistic, barely raising an eyebrow for the most part at the sound of things banging around or glimpses of something ghastly, "hey, let's just grab a candle and walk over here with a blank expression on my face". Over, and over... and over again.

It sure is a nice looking flick though, very classy and old fashioned and the period detail appears to be authentic and really draws you into the environment. It's nice to see a movie like this, clearly inspired by some classic ghost stories of yester-year and I still prefer this to something more akin to the 'Saw' franchise but I wish the story was more than just Harry Potter wandering around a big old house pretending to be scared for its runtime. It's a terrific mood piece though, that's a big compliment I can pay it and I'm all for more films in this similar vein being made but next time I just hope more time is spent on delivering an engaging story alongside the eerie atmosphere.

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