Cinematic Releases: The Woman in Black

A guest post by Jesse Barnes:

Looks like someone attended the How-to-Make-a-Supernatural-Thriller Convention and completed a fully polished script before leaving. I've never seen a film more by the book and more predictable than Woman in Black in years. Painfully mediocre from beginning to end with the only exceptions being the gorgeously rotten Victorian production design and Daniel Radcliffe's performance which isn't anywhere near Oscar worthy, but shows incredibly strong promise from a young actor who now faces the great obstacle of overcoming his child actor branding that has claimed so many careers before. Radcliffe is no doubt destined to close the curtain on Harry Potter quickly and with grand commendation. I never saw him as Harry Potter throughout the run time and never questioned once that he was 100% the character I saw on screen.

In fact, the entire cast was generally good and they sunk deeply into their surroundings which genuinely had me transported to another time and place. The tattered age of the architecture and the immaculate attention to detail sprawling the old European homes and environments was the star of the film and, besides Radcliffe, is quite literally the only reason you should watch Woman in Black because if you're coming for scares and a gripping story, you will be sorely disappointed. Woman in Black is fused like a dead conjoined fetus to the step-by-step instruction manual on how to write horror scripts. It's so deathly predictable and rehashed that any ounce of dread, suspense, or scare factor is rendered virtually non-existent.

This film is strictly recommended to hardcore Radcliffe fans only. If it weren't for him, honestly, I would not have been caught dead in the theater. I know this sounds sappy, but I wanted to go only to show my support for an actor who I feel has massive untapped potential. If it was any other actor and had a boring contemporary setting, Woman in Black would be utterly forgettable if it isn't already destined for that abyss already.