The Woman in Black Blu-Ray + DVD Review
Daniel Radcliffe faces a ghost set on revenge in his first truly “adult” movie role, in "The Woman in Black".
By: Lynn Barker
Harry Potter’s Dan Radcliffe stars as a young dad whose real-life Godson plays his young son in the very spooky ghost story The Woman in Black. What creeps Dan out? Spiders… when he sees them, then looks back and they are gone. “I wonder if it’s now in my hair”, he told us in an interview. In this movie there is way more to be scared of than a spider or two in your “do”.
Story details: After the death of his wife, a young lawyer, deeply in debt, takes an assignment to settle an estate at a very spooky old, isolated mansion haunted by the ghost of a woman whose child was taken away and died in the care of others. Now, her ghost is out for revenge and no child in the local town is safe. Can Dan’s character Arthur, put the ghost at rest thus saving more innocent children or will he and his own young son suffer from her curse?
Special Features: There are two enjoyable “making of” little featurettes on both the DVD and Blu-Ray:
“Inside the Perfect Thriller” – Is a really well-done breakdown of making the film with commentary on set with Dan, the author of the original novel, the director, screenwriter and several of the other actors giving you info like: The movie is really about loss and family and the creepy woman in black is really a pretty actress behind a veil and made spooky by camerawork.
Dan says he hopes the owner of the house where they shot will forgive the filmmakers for trashing their once-beautiful garden to make it more spooky. He also confides that acting opposite very tall Janet McTeer and Ciaran Hines made him feel even shorter.
There was plenty of laughter on set to break up the spooky moments
“No Fear: Daniel Radcliffe as Arthur Kipps” – focuses on Dan talking about his character and how playing a young dad was made easier when they cast his own Godson in the role since the two were fast friends and he already loved the boy.
Director James Watkins praises Dan’s hard work ethic, acting talent and says he has really grown up well. Dan admits that he was always too scared to watch horror movies but that the scary parts in the movie are so technical on set that they aren’t scary for him at all. This is a fun featurette but wish it was longer.
“Commentary with Director James Watkins and Screenwriter Jane Goldman” – After you watch the movie once, you might want to watch again as this very talkative duo reveal scenes in which the ghost or something else scary is in the background and you might have missed it.
A few funny moments are mentioned as well as challenges with the weather and poor Dan freezing in the rain. There is talk of when to use the music and when to turn it off as well as shooting difficult scenes.. like one in which Dan has to spend hours in a horrible, muddy, swamp tank, diving under the goo. Ewwww. Interesting.
Wrapping Up: - The Woman in Black is rated PG-13 but there are some pretty scary ghost moments. Although this is not a slasher film and there is very little blood or violence, it can definitely make you wonder what is in a dark corner at your house. However, Dan is so beautiful in this movie that you might be so busy looking at him and his gorgeous blue eyes that you might not even care much about the ghost.
If you are looking for a very fast-moving scare fest, this film isn’t for you. It is beautifully photographed, moody and very slow in many scenes which, for me, just adds to the scare factor. Daniel and all the other actors do a wonderful job in their roles and, if you don’t easily carry the memory of scary movies with you when they are over, you will probably be less terrified but really be “haunted” by the film and its sad story.
Certainly worth a rental if you haven’t seen it and a definite buy for Dan or ghost-story fans. We’re going to go for four out of five stars here.
The Woman in Black: